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Chargers To Launch Signature-Gathering Campaign At Fan Event

San Diego

The San Diego Chargers will launch a signature campaign at an event Saturday designed to lure a crowd of fans, with big names, including two football stars—quarterback Philip Rivers and former running back and future Hall of Famer LaDainian Tomlinson, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Chargers chairman Dean Spanos. The Chargers need at least 67,000 signatures from registered voters for a Nov. 8 ballot initiative to help fund a new 65,000-seat stadium, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. The team hopes to collect 100,000 signatures by June 8, so there is time to get signatures ratified.

The event will be held in the parking lot on the proposed stadium site in East Village. The initiative proposes raising the Transient Occupancy Tax from 12.5% to 16.5% to enable a city-controlled entity to sell bonds to contribute $350M to the $1B stadium portion of a $1.8B shared-use complex, which includes a 385k SF exhibition hall for the San Diego Convention Center. The NFL and team would contribute $650M toward construction of the stadium. The public is being asked to contribute $1.15B ($350M for the stadium, $600M for the convention center and $200M for land and other costs). The cost includes paying off $29M still owed on the old Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley, and funds to promote the convention center. The Convention Center Corp board had previously proposed a hotel tax hike of 1% to 2% to fund marketing efforts.

Calling the event a “kickoff," Fred Maas (pictured) says Saturday is the start of a very intense effort to demonstrate the Chargers are serious and to show fan support. Architectural renderings of the proposed stadium-convention center complex will be unveiled at the event, but the final design has not yet been determined. If the initiative fails, the Chargers could take advantage of an agreement to be the second team at the Rams' future stadium in Inglewood. [SDUT]