The following are public statements issued by public officials and key industry leaders regarding the proposals for a new convention center expansion, San Diego Chargers football stadium, and visitor tax increases. While we are sharing this information, we are not taking a position on any of the ideas and proposals currently being discussed. Rather our intent is to compile what is newsworthy and to share with stakeholders as the media discussion evolves.
- Mayor Kevin Faulconer
“After more than a decade, the Chargers are putting forward a plan of their own and San Diegans may finally have the ultimate say on a new stadium in November. The convention center element makes this proposal more than a stadium and the long term future of San Diego’s tourism economy is now intertwined in this plan. As always, my top priorities are to protect jobs, protect taxpayers and do what’s right for all San Diegans. I will evaluate the proposal’s details through that lens.”
- Ted Molter, Board Chair, San Diego Tourism Authority
“The travel industry is highly competitive with global destinations seeking to attract travelers, visitor spending and economic impact for their communities. The choice to choose San Diego is dependent upon positive awareness, competitive pricing and desirable visitor amenities.
Convention clients have decidedly told our community that they prefer a contiguous expansion. A separate building, any number of blocks away, does not provide the preferred meeting model that will serve our existing and future clients. We remain committed to an on-site contiguous expansion of the San Diego Convention Center.
Tourism is San Diego’s second largest traded economy, providing 183,000 jobs that can’t be outsourced. Visitor spending generates $705 million in tax revenues through transient occupancy, property and sales taxes. These revenues are reinvested into our community through destination marketing to attract visitors and funding to support public safety, paving roads, parks and recreation, and arts and culture. Any proposed increase to the transient occupancy tax that threatens the ability of the San Diego Tourism Authority to competitively market the destination or meet the needs of convention customers with a contiguous expansion of the San Diego Convention Center will harm the health of the tourism economy and impact the quality of life for all San Diegans.”
- Rabbi Laurie Coskey, Board Chair, San Diego Convention Center
“Our clients choose San Diego for a reason, and they told us decidedly in a recent study that they prefer a contiguous expansion. Our clients love to hold their conventions in San Diego and don’t want to be prohibited from returning due to a lack of exhibit space. We must grow as they grow. We remain committed to an on-site contiguous expansion.” > Read the full statement
- Councilman Chris Cate
“Realistically, as the third largest source of revenue for our City, any potential negative impact to this funding source, no matter how minimal, could impact our ability to pay for police services or pave our streets.” > Read the full statement
- San Diego City Council Candidate Ray Ellis
(via Times of San Diego article)
“We must put the priorities of our 1.4 million residents ahead of the interests of billionaires seeking taxpayer subsidies,” Ellis said. “I do not support using public money for a Chargers stadium, especially while our City struggles to maintain our roads and staff our police department.” > Read the full article
- April Boling, County Taxpayers Association Board Member
“The tax increase the Chargers are proposing would give San Diego the honor of being home to one of the highest hotel taxes in the country, to pay for a stadium and a convention center annex that Comic-Con and the Convention Center have publicly opposed. This is not a good deal for San Diegans.” > Read the full statement
Senator Ted Cruz, Republican U.S. Presidential Candidate
(Audio Interview KOGO News Radio)
“I am not a fan of tax hikes to pay for sports stadiums. I think they’re typically boondoggles and examples of cronyism.”
> Listen to the full interview beginning at 16:10 minutes.