San Diego Business Journal

The San Diego Chargers have released the final language of their initiative to finance a $1.8 billion downtown football stadium-convention center hybrid, which would raise the city’s hotel tax from 12.5 percent to 16.5 percent if approved by voters in November.

The plan confirms reports from last month describing the Chargers’ intentions, which include eliminating a 2 percent tourism marketing district hotel room tax and increasing the 10.5 percent transient occupancy tax to 16.5 percent. The Chargers publication of the plan allows them to begin collecting signatures for the initiative later this month.

The release comes as JMI Realty, which is working with the Chargers on the downtown stadium bid, said it would unveil a proposal on April 5 to turn the current Qualcomm Stadium site in Mission Valley into a “west campus” for San Diego State University, including a stadium of its own.

The Chargers want to build their hybrid facility on city-owned land just east of Petco Park, at what is now Tailgate Park. The site would also include adjacent private land and a Metropolitan Transit System bus yard.

The added hotel taxes would fund $1.15 billion in public bonds, with the Chargers and the NFL pitching in the remaining $650 million. The Chargers would also pledge not to relocate for 30 years.

JMI, former Padres owner John Moores’ development company, and the Chargers have separately advanced several noncontiguous downtown stadium/event space proposals over the past three years. Moores, a major SDSU donor, has long called for SDSU to take over the Mission Valley site if the Chargers leave it vacant with a move downtown, allowing for a much-needed campus expansion and a smaller stadium with about 35,000 seats that would better suit the Aztecs and potentially allow for a Major League Soccer team in San Diego.

JMI will detail its plans April 5 at an event at SDSU, together with Cisterra Development, design firm Carrier Johnson, commercial real estate company Cruzan, and Steve Peace, a former state legislator and senior adviser to Moores. Peace has said in the past that Moores’ support for an SDSU stadium in Mission Valley was not tied to JMI’s interest in Ballpark Village, an East Village mixed-use development next to Petco Park.