This post has been updated.

On Tuesday, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer met with die-hard Chargers fans who are leading volunteer efforts to pass the team’s stadium plan.

At one point, BoltMan, the ubiquitous fan symbol, asked the mayor if he would pose in front of the group’s banner, touting the citizens’ initiative the team is circulating.

The mayor refused. He told them he needed more time before supporting the measure.

Jason Riggs, who runs the San Diego Stadium Coalition, was at the meeting. He said he and his counterparts kept trying to get the mayor to explain exactly what his remaining concerns were and what his timeline was for a decision.

“It felt like a lot of foot-dragging. It was a lot of non-specific answers. It felt like talking to a politician,” Riggs said.


We Stand Up For You. Will You Stand Up For Us?

And yet it’s the nicest reception the plan seems to be getting in the halls of power.

If you were wondering whether the city’s coalition of conservative business groups was open to supporting the Chargers’ plan for a new convadium in East Village, wonder no longer: It looks like a decision has been made to crush it.

Leaders of the hotel and visitor industry are now overtly advocating against it. Republican City Councilman Chris Cate and longtime activist April Boling have emerged as the leading voices against the Chargers’ plan. The Lincoln Club, a conservative political group, just launched a new committee supporting Republican City Council candidate Ray Ellis for the seat representing La Jolla and Carmel Valley. Its name is unambiguous: “Neighborhoods. Not Stadiums. A Political Action Committee in Support of Ray Ellis for Council 2016.”

And Ellis himself just dropped a case against the stadium.

The day after the mayor hosted fans in his office, the Downtown Partnership and the Chamber of Commerce put on a forum featuring representatives of the hotel and visitor industry.

Mike McDowell, director of the Lodging Industry Association, a major coalition of hotels, panned the measure, saying convention groups did not want what the Chargers were proposing (that’s via Brady Phelps, a sports blogger, who recorded some of the discussion.) Joe Terzi, the head of the Tourism Authority, went further. The Chargers’ plan is just not something industry leaders wanted.

“The fact is, if you build what is proposed by the Chargers, or another facility, it is not an expansion of the existing center. It will not satisfy the needs of those people, those larger conventions that are with us, want to stay with us and want to come,” he said at the forum.

He said the Chargers’ apparent vision to use the stadium, with a roof, as convention space was not going to be attractive to convention organizers.

“We believe that you can sell another convention facility if we don’t get the expansion but you better build something that works. What is being proposed right now does not work,” Terzi said.

Photo by Brady Phelps
Photo by Brady Phelps
San Diego Tourism Authority CEO Joe Terzi presented slides with concerns about downtown convadium plans.

John Kratzer, the CEO of JMI Realty, which runs the Omni Hotel and developed the Ballpark Village, said he would support the Chargers plan. The argument, he said, that it was not an expansion of the current Convention Center was a red herring. We don’t necessarily need just a larger building.

You don’t build a church large enough to handle the crowds for a day like Easter Sunday. You build for what’s likely to come. And he said hotel owners should get used to the idea that the hotel tax is going to go up. They should decide what they’re going to get out of it now.

“It’s inevitable. The (hotel-room tax) is going to get raised here. So why don’t we make sure that, in the process of that, we solve a bunch of problems,” he said.

Kratzer, though, is a lone voice.

The Lincoln Club, which previously clashed with the Chargers, dropped $100,000 on the new independent expenditure in support of Ellis in the San Diego City Council District 1 race.

That’s not surprising. The club already had money in a separate political action committee supporting Ellis.

What was surprising was the name of the committee, “Neighborhoods. Not Stadiums.” The Lincoln Club, a staunch ally of Faulconer, would not hammer a stadium effort if the mayor wanted to see it succeed.

What’s more, it signals that the voter environment in District 1 is so hostile to stadium plans, the candidates have entered into a kind of spiral of contempt about who is more against public funding for a stadium. Barbara Bry, Ellis’ Democratic rival, after all, is opposed to the Chargers initiative too.

Brian Pepin, the Lincoln Club’s executive director, told me that the money would highlight Bry’s support of the separate Citizens’ Plan, put together by activist attorney Cory Briggs, former City Councilwoman Donna Frye and JMI Realty. The Citizens’ Plan doesn’t allow for public money to fund a Chargers stadium but it does provide a route to funding a convention center facility that could support a stadium.

That’s enough of a connection, apparently, to form the basis of thousands of mailers to come.

“Barbara Bry supports a plan that provides a backdoor subsidy for a new stadium while claiming to oppose public funding. It is deceptive,” Pepin said. Bry said she would oppose a stadium that was not free of public subsidy, and Briggs said he offered to educate Ellis on what his plan does and doesn’t do. Ellis sent a letter declining the invitation.

Regardless, the forces that have always been at Faulconer’s back are clearly organizing against a downtown stadium.

Riggs said it was time for him and other Chargers fans to look for another candidate for mayor.

“I really do encourage those who feel passionate about this issue to look at hotels backing the mayor and the corporations behind them and consider whether or not you want to stay at those hotels. Our group is taking a more aggressive position about these groups opposing the plan. They’re on notice,” he said.

Update: After this post published, the Chargers’ stadium adviser Fred Maas sent in this response to Terzi’s comments: 

“I find Mr. Terzi’s comments both troubling and misleading: to my knowledge he’s been to one briefing with the Chargers and spent one day in Indianapolis, hardly the exhaustive or thorough review that you’d expect from a fiduciary. Moreover, we have offered the services of one of the leading convention center consultants in the nation (including a stint with our Convention Center) to engage in a dialogue with him to develop a program for the combined facility that addresses his issues but, more importantly, the market’s issues. But we got no taker. It is ironic that someone who makes $500,000 a year at the public trough, purportedly representing tourism, could boldly display his middle digit to the Chargers, the NFL, future Super Bowls, NCAA Final Fours and countless other convention-related events. Maybe there’s something more at stake here than just our initiative.”

    This article relates to: Chargers Stadium, Land Use

    Written by Scott Lewis

    I'm Scott Lewis, the editor in chief of Voice of San Diego. Please contact me if you'd like at scott.lewis@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0527 and follow me on Twitter (it's a blast!): @vosdscott.

    85 comments
    Konrad BEL
    Konrad BEL

    Only San Dieagans would be against someone else paying for their stadium.  The tourists coming into our city would help pay for our Chargers Stadium.  Only in San Diego would people Vote No to Free Money if there was such a ballot to be passed. What a joke. I don't understand the backwards mentality in this city. People in this city don't want San Diego to grow. You basically want San Diego to be Palm Springs by the beach. Well I am a citizen of this city and I am FOR the Chargers stadium and I will vote for it. I will also be more than happy to pay for it. You all already pay for things you don't use, like the public transport system and trolly system. How many of you idiots actually go to the local library that you paid for? Probably not a lot. I would like to pay for something that  I can actually use like this great stadium. Others who oppose the stadium just know there are more Charger supporters for the stadium and we are going to get it done come November. GO CHARGERS

    Charles Ryan
    Charles Ryan

    What tax money have you people spent on the Chargers? They play in the same dump they played in when Jack Murphy Stadium was built. No changes to the stadium except one expansion of the then outfield bleachers when the Padres played there. Either you want a NFL team or you don't. Period, end of story, end of discussion. You either pay up like every other US city has to keep your team or you don't get a team. Quit being cheap.


    Phillip Franklin
    Phillip Franklin subscriber

    This Charger stadium plan no doubt a political conundrum for the San Diego Republicans.  For starters the Spanos family has been the largest political contributor towards the Republican party in California going back many years now. And over the years the San Diego Republicans have been very giving to the Sapnos and the Chargers.  Spanos has virtually paid no rent to use Qualcomm for many years now.  And of course how can one forget the tens of millions of dollars which was paid directly to Spanos during the long term ticket guarantee deal.  So the powerful Republicans here in San Diego have given Spanos everything they possibly could without being caught in just handing over to him a couple of billion dollars for a brand new rent free/maintenance free state of the art facility.  I'm certain that the Spanos family would also like the city to guarantee to them not only another ticket guarantee but a Personal Seat License sales guarantee on the new free stadium to boot.

    This has all been done under the illusion that if the Spanos family does not get all of these things they will pack up an move to LA.  So the Republicans have been very generous to the Chargers with San Diego tax payers money to the tune of tens of millions each and every year. But now it is becoming more obvious to even the casual observer.  The cost to cover just the principle and interest on these  bonds  on this latest proposal will be over $100 million per year for at least the next 20 to 30 years.  That doesn't even count maintenance nor expenses for this facility.  The Chargers are insisting that that $100 million plus per year won't cost the tax payers "one thin dime".  You see they feel it can simply be passed upon to those who stay in hotel rooms by increasing the hotel room tax by 60%.  No problem right? 

    Well there is a problem and a very big one which even a complete idiot should be able to comprehend.  What should happen if that money from the 60% increase in hotel taxes doesn't pan out.  Suppose the increase in hotel taxes only produce $25 or $50 million per year or perhaps less?  Well the city's general fund is on the hook for the difference. Right now today the city has been able to collect close to $200 million per year on those taxes of which most is spent via the general fund has become absolutely necessary for this city to survive.  That current cash stream now collected by these room taxes could even become jeopardized by trying to raise this already significant tax even more making San Diego one of the most expensive cities to stay in terms of hotel tax.  It is no doubt a huge risk to the tax payers of this city.  Suppose the cash flow is not there to pay for these bonds for the next say 30 years? 

    Who will take the fall?  You guessed it those who supported this lame scheme to bilk the taxpayers.  I call it the Susan Golding effect.  You see she said the $75 million borrowed via bonds to expand the Jack Murphy Stadium would be paid off immediately by the hotel taxes after the Super Bowls were played in San Diego.  Well 20 years later the city still owes about $55 million of that amount and we have been paying a huge amount of interest on that never ending debt.  And where is Susan Golding today?  Well the Republicans had counted on her to be California's new Republican Senator.  

    If this new stadium deal is promoted by the local Republican party the same will soon happen to their chosen son Kevin Faulconer.  Even the Republicans are smart enough to know this deal is doomed to fail and wreck havoc on this city's financial future in ways most can't even imagine.  San Diego will be forced to raise taxes on everything and the voters won't forget who was behind this scheme for decades.  The deal is poison.  My guess is that it was April Boling who pointed this out to them.  After all I think she is an accountant by profession and maybe was the smartest one in their organization to figure this out.  I don't think it was Kevin doing it on his own.  After all he is just a slick PR dude who will just say what he is told to say.  Kevin after all is their 'fair-haired boy' and they can't let him fail on this issue.  

    David Crossley
    David Crossley subscriber

    The Chargers should just pick up and move to San Antonio.  There is lots of money available in Texas, as McKinney, Tx. has just passed a large bond issue that includes $62.8 million for a 12,000 seat high school stadium.  Which is roughly 4 miles from another 18,000 seat high school stadium.  It should be no problem getting the good people of San Antonio to build a new stadium for the Chargers that would cost Spanos absolutely nothing.

    Phillip Franklin
    Phillip Franklin subscriber

    @David Crossley Yes the tax payers in Texas are just dumb enough to give the Chargers a $2 billion facility.  However I don't think those who live in San Antonio make the kind of money to pay Spanos hoped for ticket prices.  You see those PSL and fancy luxury boxes  cost huge amounts of money that requires the the likes of Wall Street hedge fund types and Silicon Valley multi-millionaires and throw in some Hollywood A list celebs.   Not much of those hanging out in San Antonio.   Yes Texas does have its oil coated wealthy but they tend to stay in big D and Houston.   But even the rich oil men may soon find them looking more at general admission seats if the oil prices don't increase soon.  The oil party may be soon dying in Texas.  And what Spanos wants  is big money players buying up his luxury boxes and PSL's.   Since he can't put up the 1/2 billion bucks to relocate to LA he is hoping that if San Diego pays for his new digs he can still try to score big here with wealthy out of towners. 


    But yes nothing would make me happier than seeing a bunch of stupid Texans giving Spanos billions to get him to leave.  But as Bush Sr. would say "ain't gonna happen".

    David Crossley
    David Crossley subscriber

    There is still more corporate $$ in San Antonio/Austin than there is in San Diego. The Chargers probably won't end up there, but don't kid yourself--the money is there.

    Konrad BEL
    Konrad BEL

    @David Crossley How about you just pick up and move to San Antonio. We are getting a Chargers stadium built here like it or not. 

    David Crossley
    David Crossley subscriber

    It's just another option the Chargers have. Don't get your panties in a bunch. But it appears you already have.

    Don Wood
    Don Wood subscriber

    I wonder if the mayor and Dean Spanos have had a face to face meeting, where Dean said if the mayor refuses to support the Chargers initiative, the team will move to LA? If so, I wonder if the mayor said he's unwilling to buck the hotel/tourism mafia and don't let the door hit you in the butt on the way out of town?  If so, the Chargers should let their fans know  now, so they can vote accordingly in the mayoral election.

    Dean Plassaras
    Dean Plassaras

    @Don Wood Setting aside the fact that in reality there is no LA option (the theoretical NFL option to join the Rams is purely for leverage and propaganda purposes) the only other 2 mayoral candidates are Saldana and Harris (both basically democrats). Both with stated positions against the convadium. So how could possibly Spanos threaten Faulconer in voting matters when he is the only republican he's got?

    Ben Adams
    Ben Adams

    @Dean Plassaras @Don Wood  Why is LA not an option?  The Rams agreed to share their stadium with the Chargers or the Raiders in the relocation decision.

    David Crossley
    David Crossley subscriber

    @Ben Adams @Dean Plassaras @Don Wood  --And the Chargers have already said they have a deal (allegedly) with the Rams in Inglewood.  I suspect that deal isn't anywhere near as good as the Chargers claim it is.

    Dean Plassaras
    Dean Plassaras

    @David Crossley @Ben Adams @Dean Plassaras @Don Wood Not only the alleged Rams deal is horrible for Spanos but here we also have to look at the greater political picture. For the convadium to win this year in the ballot box, Spanos needs the euphoria of a Republican candidate swept to power via a popular victory. Instead we have a year when the GOP is basically destroyed and even if Trump wins (who is not a traditional GOP candidate), his message of fiscal austerity and trade discipline would prevent frivolous things like stadia being approved by the same voters and during the same election. There is also some bad blood between Trump and the NFL going back years when Trump attempted forming a rival football league. 


    This is why I am saying Spanos would not dare to put the convadium on the ballot this year. Instead he will delay things further because losing in the ballot box this year would force him to expose his empty threat to leave. Instead he will pretend to be the cautious player and victim of SD politics and hang around for another 10 yrs while pursuing a suitable political opening.


    What we often lose sight in this conversation is the fact that even if the Q were the worst NFL stadium (which is not) the near free rent sweet deal Spanos has here is the best NFL stadium deal found for a team in a similar situation. So Spanos has zero incentive in abandoning this free rent deal he has in SD. He would rather spend the rent he would otherwise pay in other cities, towards gathering signatures and manipulating local politics until everyone is sick and tired of him and mistakenly  give him a deal he can't refuse here in SD.

    Thomas Powell
    Thomas Powell

    @Dean Plassaras @Don Wood Neither Harris nor Saldana read the plan before issing their statement. It's sad but true. We'll see where they stand soon enough for real

    Desde la Logan
    Desde la Logan subscriber

    As a Barrio Logan resident i find it kind of fun watching the local Republican establishment fight with themselves over who gets to do what with public money. Barrio Logan residents have the most to lose if a stadium is built two blocks away from us. We don't want a stadium because it, and the entertainment district that will surround it, will increase the amount of gentrification that is already taking place here. The ensuing clubs, sports bars and market rate condos will leach into our community forcing most renting residents out. Since the hateful jerks at The Lincoln Club (see Alvarez mayoral campaign and Props B&C) are leading the efforts against the Chargers I can sit back and laugh, instead of spend countless hours fighting the stadium, and watch the Repugs eat themselves. Hopefully they'll damage themselves so much fighting each other that they lose any respect they had with the electorate and not get a stadium. A double win for Barrio Logan residents.

    Thomas Powell
    Thomas Powell

    @Desde la Logan Save Our Bolts and the Chargers have discussed Barrio Logan many many times. We will be out there soon to meet all of you and address all concerns

    Fotis Tsimboukakis
    Fotis Tsimboukakis subscribermember

    The bottom line is NO to any form of public, tax payer funding of a Charger stadium.

    Note that both Faulconer and his groomed successor, Kersey are both quiet on the issue.

    On January 9th, 2016, on an Fox 69 interview Kersey also left the window open to give the Chargers a couple of hundred million for their Stadium, if done the mayor's way.

    His new budget calls for a 6.3% rise in property tax revenue for 2017, just to justify the extra 21 million for infrastructure update for his Trainee Kersey. MAGIC? Considering prop 13.  Where is he going to find the Charger's 200 mil? POWERBALL?

    Vote them both out. 

    Time for new blood that knows what they are doing and actually give a D@MN. 


    David Crossley
    David Crossley subscriber

    @Fotis Tsimboukakis  --You might want to do a bit of research before stating that Jerry Jones built a "fully self funded" stadium.  And as for Golden State, they announced their new arena 4 years ago, have proposed multiple sites, and still haven't even broken ground yet.

    Konrad BEL
    Konrad BEL

    @Fotis Tsimboukakis what are you talking about?? The tourists are going to get taxed that will go towards the Chargers Stadium. Unbelievable, only San Diegans would refuse  outsiders to pay for part of their city. Do you people don't understand that it is possible to use the tourist tax to use on our city  infrastructure AND the stadium? We can get both done! People like you prevent our city to grow. Go visit your library that you paid for and read a book and take the damn trolley too, you  might as well get use out of it since you paid for it.

    Edward Moretti
    Edward Moretti

    Half a million dollars for heading the Tourism Authority?!? Must be nice.


    It would be interesting to know how much of the subsidy known as the TOT actually goes to marketing San Diego to visitors and how much ends up in the pockets of management at the Tourism Authority. Maybe VoSD could do a little investigative journalism here. If VoSD only vetted other subsidies as much as they have the new stadium San Diego would be an even better place to live in.


    Edward Moretti
    Edward Moretti

    Don't be surprised when the Mayor does an about face and comes out for the Charger Convadium initiative after the Mayor wins the election in June, which is not a certainty now that The Donald has all but sewn up the nomination  before California thus possibly lowering Republican turnout at the polls. Wouldn't surprise me at all.


    Of course, it also wouldn't surprise me in the least if this was just a ploy to get the Chargers to leave and then sell off the Mission Valley site to the highest bidder(s). 

    Don Wood
    Don Wood subscriber

    The mayor doesn't want to piss off the Spanos family, after all the money the family has contributed to him over the years, but he is more concerned with upsetting the big hotel owners, who are funding most of his reelection campaign. So don't expect him to reject the Chargers convadium proposal outright. Instead, he will team up with Jan Goldsmith to drag their feet to the point where is either fails to get on the ballot, or loses due to non-support by the mayor and fellow politicians. Then the mayor will say he's shocked when the Chargers pick up and leave for LA. If it come to picking between keeping the chargers to keeping the hotel/tourism gang happy, its no contest. They mayor will wave bye-bye to the football team. Keep that in mind if you're a Chargers fan. Faulconer is no friend of the local NFL team.

    Thomas Powell
    Thomas Powell

    @Don Wood As I am for the plan and you are not. I say this to the Mayor. Both of us Don derserve better leadership than which you just stated as corectfully so I might add

    Echo5Juliet
    Echo5Juliet subscribermember

    I'm concerned that the parties behind the stadium measure consider TOT revenue to be an inexhaustible constant like solar energy. There are recessions, travel trend changes, things that can impact the TOT revenue. Over 20 years there would typically be two, if not three recessions. 


    So what happens when the stadium is built and operational with the convention center annex and there is a weak TOT revenue year. Who makes up the financial shortfall when operational costs must be covered? Taxpayers would be on the hook. Where is the clause in the measure that puts the Chargers organization and the NFL on the hook for any and all shortcomings in needed revenue? There isn't such a clause. 


    The city has more important things to invest money in than a stadium for eight home games per year. Qualcomm can get a fresh coat of paint and work just fine, or the Chargers can leave San Diego. In the meantime fiscally responsible adults need to step forward from the Mayor down to the voting public to ensure this stupid idea dies at the ballot box.


    I applaud Mayor Faulconer for treating this as it should be, a bad idea for San Diego.

    wadams92101
    wadams92101 subscriber

    If TOT really was free money to San Diegans - like Maas keeps saying - you think it might be better spent than on a stadium? You think the City's most valuable public land might be better utilized than an NFL stadium?

    Edward Moretti
    Edward Moretti

    @Echo5Juliet (b) All of the Bonds hereby authorized to be issued pursuant to this Section shall be limited obligations of the City payable solely from the Funds. Bonds issued as authorized by this Section shall not be deemed to constitute a debt or liability of the City’s General Fund and shall not be secured by a pledge of the faith and credit of the City but shall be limited obligations payable solely from specified revenues, moneys and assets. The issuance of Bonds pursuant to this Section shall not directly, indirectly, or contingently obligate the City to levy or pledge any form of taxation other than the tax imposed pursuant to Section 35.0109.

     

    Thomas Powell
    Thomas Powell

    @Echo5Juliet A issue raised a lot. Here is the answer sir Nothing comes out of the general fund, ever.  If the tot and private money doesn't cover the bonds, the new TMD and then the bond holders lose out.  


    Phillip Franklin
    Phillip Franklin subscriber

    @Edward Moretti @Echo5Juliet You don't really believe that do you?  If you do then you a a bigger fool that those who tried to write that kind of legal nonsense into the bond proposals which bankrupted both the cities of Stockton and Vallejo.  Those bonds would be considered strict liabilities of the City of San Diego by both the state & Federal courts.  They are government bonds and must be paid back by this city.  That garbage non sense legal mumbo jumbo was written by those crooks proposing this idiotic plan.  Do your research on what happened in Stockton and Vallejo.  They had to raise their taxes to everyone and are still very much struggling to operate on huge cuts in city services.  They have horrible bond ratings and for the most part are dead cities.  When you go into bonded debt that is exactly what it is.  These are not junk bonds that Wall Street passed in the 1980's.  It doesn't matter what the city charter or what the voter pamphlet or proposal says.  This law is covered by the Securities & Exchange Commission and State of California which franchises and obligates its cities to pay every last penny of its bonded debt.  If the city tried to dishonor those bonds the legal costs alone would be into the 100's millions of dollars and the city would be rated as a dead beat creditor and would still be obligated to raise its taxes to pay back those bonds.  

    Phillip Franklin
    Phillip Franklin subscriber

    @Thomas Powell @Echo5Juliet You are just being plain silly and naive,  Do you even know the meaning of a government backed municipal bond?  Do you realize that when a local government in the State of California votes in a bond issue such as the one proposed here that it is a direct responsibility of the voters who approved such a measure. Even if the project or income source detailed by the bond issue falls short of the revenue goals necessary to service the principle and interest of such bond the voters and the citizens of such municipality are held ultimately responsible to pay back such debts.  


    Not only that but such bonds are normally issued by Wall Street bankers who must follow the rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission.  Those issues must meet the rigid rules governed by not only the State of California but the SEC.  So the lies of those putting this before the those in order to sign a petition are meaningless in terms of the obligations under law if  such an issue was to be approved by the voters.  Sure there may be lawsuits for election fraud if the this language were to appear on the official ballot which state otherwise.  But the holders of those bonds would not only win in court the city of San Diego would be out tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars in any kind of court case judgment.  


    You sound like the kind of fool which thought your no down, no qualification home loan was a good idea until they foreclosed on your house.  Don't be a fool.  Just research the recent cases in in which both Stockton and Vallejo tried to bankrupt themselves to avoid the same exact issue.   Look at how that left these cities.   If San Diego missed one of those payments on these bonds the entire city's ability to ever issue any type of bond in the future would be nil.  This type of of borrowing would make the city's pension crisis (which caused San Diego to be called 'Enron by the Sea') could be 10 times as worse.


    Yes the typical San Diego voter is very unsophisticated and very naive and it is the people like you and the Spanos clan who are trying to take advantage of this by outright lying and misleading these voters or petition signers into believing otherwise.  That is why even our most Republican candidates for city office have refused to align themselves with this horrible plan.  And this is even true when the Spanos family has been the single largest contributor to California Republican party for years.  Spanos is now become the Donald Trump of local San Diego politics.

    Konrad BEL
    Konrad BEL

    @wadams92101 you ever think about that it is possible that the TOT can be used for BOTH the stadium and our city infrastructure?

    David Crossley
    David Crossley subscriber

    The money goes INTO the general fund. All TOT monies go into the general fund, and is then distributed.

    Dean Plassaras
    Dean Plassaras

    One issue that keeps turning in my mind is this:


    We know that we are in an overcrowded year ballot-wise. We also know that when voters are faced with a ballot as thick as the yellow pages they tend to turn off and vote No on everything.


    So, say eventually Spanos gathers his signatures and qualifies for the ballot after the signature verification process. But this would be late in the game and the ranking of the ballot listing would be quite low.


    Does anyone know how the process works? Is it first come first serve or FIFO (first in first out) concept? alphabetical? How do you ensure an advantageous listing ranking for your initiative?


    Because it looks to me that unless you are part of an elite top ballot display the chances of getting voters to warm up to your proposition are pretty low the lower your position is printed on the ballot.

    David Crossley
    David Crossley subscriber

    @Dean Plassaras  --I find it interesting that in going to Padres games after the signature gathering for the Chargers initiative began, I have not seen one person sign any petition--and there are plenty of people outside of Petco Park attempting to gather signatures.

    Dean Plassaras
    Dean Plassaras

    @Edward Moretti @David Crossley @Dean Plassaras Spanos has a history of collecting signatures but deciding later to opt out from a losing ballot battle. The signatures are obtained by professionals who get paid by the signature. So, being ahead of schedule in signature gathering does not mean much by itself. 

    sandiegosteven
    sandiegosteven subscribermember

    A non-contiguous CC annex can work on its own but requires multiple key and strategic decisions be made to maximize the return and make it viable as the CSL study released last August showed. It (Annex) has serious drawbacks as well but to say it won't work until a clear program is designed is not fair at this point in the debate. The Chargers need to show they are serious about the CC side of their proposal and will design to meet the market demand not jus to get voters to support their initiative. I don't understand why they have decided to oppose a contiguous expansion as the two are not mutually exclusive.

    Dean Plassaras
    Dean Plassaras

    @sandiegosteven When you say that the 2 are not mutually exclusive, how do we square the fact that Spanos has to oppose the contiguous expansion otherwise he can't get the convadium foundation for his ill-conceived $800 Mil. stadium which requires an $1.2 Bil. public investment underneath it? I am really surprised that Spanos has not taken his argument to its logical conclusion and request a $2 Bill. stadium foundation so he could deliver an $1 stadium straight out of his own pocket.

    sandiegosteven
    sandiegosteven subscribermember

    @Dean Plassaras @sandiegosteven Fair point. I think the fatal flaw in the Chargers initiative is tying funding to a CC annex. They should have left that fight for another day and simply ran the initiative to fund both a stadium and CC, wherever the location was eventually deemed best. But that's just my opinion.

    Ben Adams
    Ben Adams

    @sandiegosteven The non-contiguous annex wont work and the study proves conventions don't want it.  Larger conventions want contiguous space.  Look at exhibit 5-6 in the study, 76% of large conventions surveyed said they would either DEFINITELY NOT or were NOT LIKELY to book their conventions here under the split Convadium plan while 63% of large conventions surveyed said they would either DEFINITELY or were LIKELY to book their conventions here under the Contiguous expansion plan.

    Interest in Continuing to Host Events in San Diego

    Ninety-one percent of planners surveyed would definitely, likely or possibly use a contiguously expanded center; dropping to 47 percent of planners that would use a new campus option center. Interest levels further drop to 28 percent for a scenario in which both a new center and the existing SDCC would be used for a single event. These data suggest an even stronger preference for the contiguous option among past and current SDCC customers than the other national event planners.

    Most cities are expanding their convention space and they are adding contiguous space.  The competition is growing for an already very competitive industry.  The study makes it clear there are only two reasonable choices, expand using the contiguous plan or don't bother expanding and focus on midsized and small conventions.  Listen to the customers

    https://www.sandiego.gov/sites/default/files/legacy/mayor/pdf/2015/082815_CSL_Expansion_Study.pdf

    sandiegosteven
    sandiegosteven subscribermember

    @Ben Adams @sandiegosteven Ben, I don't disagree and support a contiguous expansion for the reasons you state. Know that I staffed the CSL study and attended the focus groups with clients so I am very aware of the drawbacks of an annex.  That said, CSL did find that an annex would attract events even though it won't solve the issues of groups outgrowing the current facility. I think it is important to be fair in discussing the pros/cons of both options so that is why I posted my comments.

    Ben Adams
    Ben Adams

    @sandiegosteven  I am being fair, not one of the large conventions surveyed said they would definitely book a convention for the Convadium annex.  That's zero, zilch, nada, 0%.  25% said they would definitely book the contiguously expended center.  You are hoping the annex might attract events but the other cities expanding their convention centers will definitely have a negative impact on the minuscule demand for the annex and there's also the issue of availability during the football season.

    I'm not convinced that we must expand the center but I do know from reading the current financial reports and the national data that the annex would be a giant money loser for San Diego, you have to know that's a fact.  I'm sure we can book some events that wont cover the operating costs of the building let alone make a dent in the $billion of debt but that's not a working plan.  That's a big failure.  We would be better off doing nothing than wasting money on this stupid Convadium plan.  There are only 2 sane choices, go big with the contiguous plan or do nothing and focus on mid-sized and small conventions.

    sandiegosteven
    sandiegosteven subscribermember

    @Ben Adams @sandiegosteven I'm not hoping anything actually. I am just saying that an annex has some value. But remember, I am a supporter of a contiguous expansion for the reasons you state. But there is value in an annex and to suggest otherwise is to ignore the market research we did. Granted it doesn't address the needs of large events outgrowing the current facility or those who we could attract with a larger single facility. Those are the drawbacks to an annex that I think are important to note. But there are events who want to come to SD that would fit into the annex who can't book room in the current facility because it is sold out currently.  You are arguing with someone who agrees with you but I still think there is value in an annex, just not the value of a contiguous expansion for the reasons you state.

    Ben Adams
    Ben Adams

    @sandiegosteven @Ben Adams I do not see value in a giant money losing proposition.  Show me hard data for the revenue and profit lost from conventions we are turning away.  Maybe we should increase rental rates if we are turning away business, because I know for a fact we are running the existing convention center at a net operating loss.

    There is no value in a slight increase in revenues when they require a giant increase in debt and operating losses.  It sounds like you see value in any increase in revenue because the debt and operating losses aren't your problem and you guys can just stick the taxpayers with the bill.

    We don't have to expand the convention center.  Why are you ignoring all of the costs associated with the project while you are trying to assign value?  Sorry but that makes no sense to me at all.

    sandiegosteven
    sandiegosteven subscribermember

    @Ben Adams @sandiegosteven The value comes from the economic impact and tax revenues it generates. The current facility generates $1.3 billion in economic impact annually.  As to your claim the current facility is running at a net operating loss I encourage you to look at the actual numbers. It runs with a surplus in operations and the contribution from the city is for capital and the sales/marketing contract with the Tourism Authority.  If anything, San Diego has done right by building a world class convention center and the benefits are widespread. Just look at the Gaslamp before and after the CC existed. Cities across the country are in envy of what San Diego has managed to do, despite the obstacles. That said, you still are not acknowledging the results of the CSL study which shows that the Annex has economic value and would be successful if done correctly which is a big IF.  That is the point of my first post. 

    Ben Adams
    Ben Adams

    @sandiegosteven @Ben Adams You are wrong Steven.  The city contributed $3,405,000 to the operating revenues, that contribution was not part of the capital contributions and special items.  Without this taxpayer subsidy the convention center ran at an operating loss of $940,479 that's the fact.  See page 10.

    https://visitsandiego.com/sites/default/files/basic/SDCCC_AR-FY15.pdf

    We can have different opinions but you can't make up your own facts.  It's pretty clear that you have a personal interest in being less than truthful.  What's your professional position?

    Those economic impact numbers are pure fantasy and were supplied by people hired to provide propaganda. VOSD covered this a year or 2 ago.

    sandiegosteven
    sandiegosteven subscribermember

    @Ben Adams @sandiegosteven Ok.  Looks like we are going to have to agree to disagree.  Look at the CC budget presentation this past week and you will see the true numbers. I'm not sure why you think I am being anything but truthful. I am the former VP, Public Affairs for the Convention Center so I have a deep knowledge of the topics we are discussing.  As to the "fantasy" you suggest, the City has already received over $450 million in TOT directly from events in the center. Fact. The economic impact numbers and tax revenue numbers are fact. 

    Ben Adams
    Ben Adams

    @sandiegosteven @Ben Adams I linked to the financial statements that prove you are wrong.  I see you are a PR type and unfortunately I know your kind all too well.  Facts are irrelevant for you as long as you can convince enough suckers to believe your BS.  

    Post links Steven, you've proven to be less than honest.

    sandiegosteven
    sandiegosteven subscribermember

    @Ben Adams @sandiegosteven And if you did your homework, you would know the management agreement between the City and the CC Corporation only allows the city money to be used for capital and marketing, not operations.

    Ben Adams
    Ben Adams

    @sandiegosteven @Ben Adams Marketing is part of operations.  Do you really not know this?  You should be fired.

    The $3.4 million taxpayer subsidy of the convention center was not a Capital contribution.

    Ben Adams
    Ben Adams

    @sandiegosteven @Ben Adams I don't know if you are a liar but you are wrong about the general fund contribution.  Your link shows the general fund subsidized operating revenues by $3.4 million.  See page 6 of your document.  Who are you and why are you posting this BS?

    sandiegosteven
    sandiegosteven subscribermember

    @Ben Adams @sandiegosteven Its not a general fund contribution. Look at the operating agreement and you will see it can only be used for capital, marketing. You still don't read what I write. You are so consumed with your position you have no interest in learning new facts. #sad

    Ben Adams
    Ben Adams

    @sandiegosteven @Ben Adams So what, marketing is an operating expense.  You are clueless.  You need to do your homework, you are so wrong you should be fired because of incompetence.

    Ben Adams
    Ben Adams

    @sandiegosteven @Ben Adams I work in private practice.  Who are you affiliated with that has you going to these convention center meetings?  Can you answer a question honestly?

    sandiegosteven
    sandiegosteven subscribermember

    @Ben Adams I spent the last 10 years working on the CC expansion. I staffed the Mayors Task Force on the expansion. And you?

    Ben Adams
    Ben Adams

    @sandiegosteven @Ben Adams Great, doesn't change the fact that you don't know marketing is an operating expense.  I'm not surprised you spent the last 10 years working on the CC expansion, you are incompetent, where else would you work?  You don't know how to read a basic financial statement.  

    Jesus man you are the poster boy for everything wrong with San Diego.