SAN DIEGO–An early booster of efforts to build a Downtown ballpark now says the public debt incurred by the project could be higher than expected, as much as $10 million a year.

Attorney Michael Aguirre, co-chairman of the group that supported Proposition C in November 1998, now contends now that construction of the ballpark would drive annual bond costs higher. Lower-than-expected hotel tax revenues and an unfavorable lease agreement with the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium have already put a dent in the city’s general fund.

Supporters of the ballpark promised voters that debt service on the 30-year bond would not exceed $20.7 million. But Aguirre says the city’s annual payment for the Downtown redevelopment project could balloon to $30 million.

San Diego Mayor Susan Golding counters that the $20.7 million figure was only an estimate, and it’s impossible to know exactly what the costs would be for such a project.

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