An important bit of misinformation has been circulating about Measure C – the Spanos ballot referendum to raise the hotel tax (transient occupancy tax – “TOT”) in the City of San Diego from 12.5% to 16.5% to build a $2 billion-plus downtown combined stadium and convention annex. Most news stories and conventional wisdom have it that 2/3 of the city’s voters must vote in favor of it in order for it to pass. While some of these articles acknowledge that there is a potential second path to passing Measure C via litigation, it is mentioned only as something that is remote, uncertain, and difficult. As a result, some opponents of the measure have had a somewhat lackadaisical attitude. The hoteliers in particular have remained relatively silent. This circumstance is surprising given the potential impact on the demand for hotel rooms from the rate increase and the hoteliers’ opposition to a non-contiguous convention facility expansion.Continue Reading Why Spanos is only trying for a >50% vote to get a downtown stadium.
At first glance, the recent East Village Convadium proposal has many appealing qualities: it is an attractive, modern complex with many interesting features. However, the Charger’s owners hope to capitalize on the recent trend in California and use the ballot initiative process to “expedite” California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review, and for good reason. The flash and hype of the ballot initiative covers many significant, unanswered questions about potential cost overruns and environmental impacts that may cost San Diego taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.Continue Reading A Football Stadium in East Village? Not so Fast