San Diego

San Diego Convention Center Expansion Will Be on a Future Ballot

The effort to increase the hotel tax to pay for an expansion of the San Diego Convention Center has collected enough signatures to get the issue on the ballot. But it will not be on this November's ballot. 

The city of San Diego and the Port of San Diego could purchase a plot of land for $32 million if voters approve a tax to fund the Convention Center expansion, pay for homeless services and repair roads.

The deadline for that deal was recently extended to Sept. 25, according to the mayor’s office.

On Thursday, the San Diego County Registrar of Voters said the initiative does have enough signatures to make it on the ballot but it's too late to make it on November's ballot. 

A month ago, signatures gathered for the measure failed a random count and that triggered a full verification of signatures by the registrar.

The measure will be in front of voters in a future election, according to the mayor's office.

The City Council will meet to decide whether to accept the results from the registrar. If they do, they will then need to have a hearing to determine when the issue will be placed on the ballot.

The 5-acre property in question is on the southwest side of the convention center, and its location is critical to a contiguous waterfront expansion.

In June, the city and the Port made a deal to pay Fifth Avenue Landing $5.3 million as a deposit to the full $33 million cost of the waterfront land. The deal was the city and Port would only purchase the land if the measure to raise hotel taxes and expand the Convention Center was successful and approved by voters.

Nearly 150 events take place at the Convention Center every year, but the biggest one, of course, is Comic-Con. 

Ed. Note: A previous version of this article stated the initiative would be placed on the 2020 ballot. While this is possible, it has not yet been decided by the City Council. 

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