San Diego, CALIF. - Two of the most highly contested local ballot measures in the City of San Diego were defeated last night, as the voters of San Diego declined to pass Measures C and D.
With 43% voting YES and 57% voting NO, Measure C (the Chargers’ Initiative) fell far short of the 2/3 majority needed to pass. Measure D required a simple majority and managed to receive 40% of YES votes.
A large number of provisional ballots still need to be counted, and while the numbers will likely fluctuate a bit, the outcomes are not expected to change.
What no on Measures C and D mean:
- No downtown football stadium
- No increased hotel-room (TOT) tax
- No approval for Qualcomm Stadium site to be sold for educational or park use
The cornerstone tenet of Measure D (and by far, the most popular component of either measure) was the development of the Qualcomm Stadium site for parkland and higher education use. Supporters of Measure D say they are still pursuing that goal – although in what form is not yet known – but clearly, the public has a desire to make sure the Qualcomm Stadium site is used in the capacity Measure D envisioned.
Now to Measure C and the Chargers. What happens next?
Chargers owner Dean Spanos has been outspoken in his reluctance to remain in Mission Valley. Spanos released a statement last night indicating that a decision would not be made until after the season ends. “In terms of what comes next for the Chargers, it’s just too early to give you an answer,” he said.
The team could opt to tear down Qualcomm and build a new stadium in its place, but it’s unlikely given Spanos’ announcement earlier this year that the team has no intention of staying in Mission Valley.
A rewrite for Measure C is possible for 2017. Haney Hong of the San Diego County Taxpayer's Association was quoted recently saying, "I think that folks would love the Chargers to stay but I think they want to make sure it’s done in a deal that's fair to taxpayers.”
Taking what they learned from the election defeat, the Chargers could craft a stadium solution more likely to receive voter support.
The Chargers also have the option of becoming a tenant in the Rams’ new stadium in Los Angeles. The team has until January 15, 2017 to decide.