On August 1st, an Appellate Court ruled against a proposed tax increase of 1% - 3% to applied by San Diego hotels on occupants. This increased tax would have been used to fund a $520 million expansion of the San Diego Convention Center. In their (unanimous) ruling, the judges said:
"While we understand the City would like to expand the convention center, we are duty bound to uphold the provisions of the California Constitution and the City Charter that require that the City’s registered voters approve the special tax at issue in this case."
In this particular case, the California Constitution requires (thanks to Proposition 13) a two-thirds majority vote in order to increase taxes. Since that vote never took place, the tax increase is unconstitutional.
While this leaves the convention center expansion on very shaky footing, it has re-opened the door for the Chargers to pitch the city on a new stadium downtown which would include additional convention space. Apparently, according to an article written by Roger Showley for the UT San Diego, JMI realty - the development group which was primarily responsible for the construction of Petco Park - has been pitching both the city and the Chargers on some ideas for a shared stadium and convention center space.
In the interests of brevity, I will only discuss the JMI proposals which would entail a new stadium for the Chargers.
A Separate Stadium and Expanded Convention Center downtown
The first proposal would be to continue to the convention center expansion as planned, although with a higher estimated cost of $680 million ($160 million above the original estimate of $520 million), and then build a Chargers stadium east of Petco Park, at an estimated cost of $1.15 billion (and some other items) for a grand total of just over $1.8 billion.
The upside of this plan would be an expanded convention center, which would remain contiguous - the preferred option for large conventions such as Comic-Con. There's also no problem with schedule conflicts, as conventions scheduled in January (i.e. during the playoffs) would not be faced with potential relocations. The downside - the cost. I can't see any way voters would approve any plan which requires a $1.8 billion outlay, especially since it would likely require some sort of tax increase.