Court decision could impact Chargers stadium efforts in San Diego

By Vincent Frank

A decision from the California Supreme Court this week could have a direct impact on the San Diego Chargers ability to remain in the state’s southern-most city.

The high court blocked an earlier appellate court ruling that would have allowed a city-wide vote on increasing taxes to fund a new stadium to pass with a simple majority. Instead, the court decided to review the lower court ruling in order to determine its legality.

If the state court either doesn’t rule on the case or decides to overrule the appellate decision before November’s election, a two-third majority would be needed to pass a tax hike for new stadium funding.

The San Diego Union-Tribune went on to indicate that “it typically takes many months — if not years — for a ruling to come” from the state’s highest court. If so, the Chargers and the city of San Diego will definitely face an uphill climb here.

Short of taxpayers agreeing to fund a new venue for the Chargers, the organization will likely decide to activate its opt-in clause to join the now Los Angeles Rams in Inglewood, meaning 2016 would be the last season of Charger football in San Diego.

Remember, the NFL gave the Chargers a one-year window to decide whether they want to take part in a joint-stadium venture with the Rams in the Los Angeles area. It’s been widely speculated that November’s vote will dictate whether the Chargers will activate that option.

This has been a major issue for the Chargers over the past several years. A team that plays football in one of the two-most worn-down venues in the NFL, they simply need to find a new venue to move forward as an organization.

There’s been a huge rift between the Chargers franchise and the city of San Diego over the past couple years, something that seemed to take a backseat recently with both supporting November’s ballot initiative.

Requiring a two-third majority instead of a simple majority is a huge deal. The electorate in a given city tends to find itself split on the debate of public financing of sports venues.

It’s definitely going to be interesting to see how this turns out between now and November. Our bet is that if the court refuses to step in further and allow a simple majority vote, the Chargers will then have to look at Los Angeles as a realistic alternative.