San Diego residents to vote on Chargers stadium proposal

Residents of San Diego will vote on whether the US city’s hotel tax rates should be raised to fund the development of a new stadium for NFL American football franchise the San Diego Chargers.

Over 110,000 people signed a petition in favour of the notion being put to a ballot to decide the long-term home of the Chargers.

The team will spend the 2016-17 season at Qualcomm Stadium, its home since 1967. However, the club has been angling for a move to a new stadium for some time. In February the Raiders agreed a deal with rival team the Los Angeles Rams – formerly known as the St Louis Rams – to relocate to Los Angeles should it be unable to find a long-term solution to its ongoing stadium issues.

Under the solution put forward by the Chargers, a new downtown stadium would be built using funds generated from increasing San Diego’s tax on hotel stays from 12.5 per cent to 16.5 per cent. If the proposal were to be given the go-ahead, the club would play at a new $1.8bn (€1.6bn) venue in the city.

“The entire Chargers organisation is grateful to all of those who helped qualify our initiative for the November 2016 ballot,” Chargers chairman Dean Spanos said, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper.

“We gathered more than 110,000 signatures in less than six weeks, an extraordinary result that demonstrates the high level of community interest in a new multi-use stadium and convention centre facility downtown.”

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