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Chargers Submit Signatures To Qualify Stadium Measure For November Ballot

Photo caption: A concept design of a proposed Chargers stadium in downtown San Diego is show...

Photo credit: Manica Architecture

A concept design of a proposed Chargers stadium in downtown San Diego is shown in this undated photo.

The Chargers said they delivered 110,786 signatures to the San Diego city clerk on Friday to get their stadium and convention center initiative on the November ballot.

The Chargers need around 66,000 valid signatures to qualify the measure for the November ballot. The signatures will be verified over the next 30 days by the county registrar of voters to see if it qualifies for the general election.

"On behalf of the entire San Diego Chargers organization, we want to thank every registered San Diego City voter who signed the petition," Chargers chairman Dean Spanos said in a news release.

Spanos said the signature-gathering period was abbreviated.

“Most signature gathering efforts of this kind take six full months. We had just six weeks to complete our work,” Spanos said. “The fact that we were able to collect more than 110,000 signatures in that short period of time demonstrates tremendous support in our community for a new, combined stadium-convention center expansion downtown.”

If passed, the initiative would raise San Diego's hotel room tax to 16.5 percent to pay for construction of a $1.8 billion stadium and convention signature annex.

The tax is currently 10.5 percent, with an additional 2 percent fee that pays for tourism promotion, making it a 4 percentage point increase.

The Chargers have pledged to chip in $350 million of their own money and use a $300 million loan from the NFL to help build the stadium.

Voter approval of the plan is required because of the tax increase, but because of a recent court ruling, it's unclear whether a simple or two-thirds majority will be required in November. Chargers officials said they will aim for two-thirds to be on the safe side.

Many city elected officials have come out against the Chargers plan because of its use of public funds. Mayor Kevin Faulconer, reelected to a full four-year term Tuesday, has not stated his position while his staff seeks more details from the team.

The Chargers have been asking for a Qualcomm Stadium replacement for more than 15 years. In January, NFL owners rejected their plans to build a playing facility in Carson jointly with the Oakland Raiders, after which Spanos announced he would give San Diego another try.

Spanos said he has an agreement in place to have the Chargers become the second team in a future Inglewood stadium with the Los Angeles Rams, if the San Diego effort falls through.

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