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March 2, 2017 (San Diego) When the San Diego Chargers left for greener pastures in Los Angeles, they left a white elephant in Mision Valley. This is a white elephant that is not fully paid off and is going to cost the city money to maintain. It is Qualcomm Stadium.
Soon after the Chargers left first rumors, then confirmation started, A group of investors in San Diego is trying to bring a Major League Soccer (MLS) team to San Diego. They are expecting to get four expansion teams by 2020, and San Diego has thrown its hat in the ring. This group is FS Investors from La Jolla.
There are two catches to this, though. The stadium has to be built by March of 2020 and it cannot be a renovation of the Q, but a smaller venue. One that will hold 30,000 fans, but could be expanded to 40,000 in the future. The latter is due to the other potential tenant at the venue, the San Diego Aztecs.
Craig Benedetto did the first of what is expected to be many presentations before boards and commissions, starting the process to get to that stadium. He made sure to express one thought, which might signal some trouble. This is on an expedited approval calendar and is not following the normal procedure. However, he also said that this is complying with new legislation. He also said that the university was on board since they would get control of the facility within a few years. However, media reports say that the University is not precisely thrilled.
Deborah Bossmeyer, one of the board members, stated that it sounded more as if you build it, they will come. Why indeed Soccer? What Benedetto explained that Soccer is the fastest growing sport in the United States. San Diego has fans as well. He said that the city was the second largest venue for the world cup final, ahead of well-known Soccer cities, such as Miami.
Moreover, Soccer is the second most popular sport among the millennial generation.
This smaller venue will allow for the stadium to be filled, and when internal events, such as national teams travel, they bring tourist along. He gave the example of the Brazilian team (one of the top teams in the world), that travels with multiple news media outlets, for example. The smaller venue will also allow the Aztecs to fill the stadium and will be able to grow to 40 thousand fans.
While it is true that the National Football League is the largest sport in the nation, in San Diego Chargers football was not doing well and not giving many benefits to the city.
Details of the Plan
The city will have to sell, at fair market value, the Qualcomm Stadium site. This will allow the city to divest itself from the standing debt.
This will be a private enterprise and will cost nothing to taxpayers.
Repurposing large tracts of the 165-acre property for mixed use, housing, office space, and hotel.
This will be transit oriented. The green line is already in place, They expect to get the purple and red line at the Q as well. How those two lines will be funded, however, is a good question. Now that SANDAG does not have the tax increase they wanted, from 2021 onwards all transit projects will be pay as you go, which will slow them down.
- Citizens will get to vote on this.
- They expect to publish the initiative by Feb of 2017 (yes that wicket has been missed)
- March: Signature petition drive starts.
- May: Complete the planning
- June 2017: Special Election?
- If the stadium is not developed, the white elephant will revert to the City of San Diego.
What will be in the Project if Approved?
- A Stadium of course.
- 34 acres of river park accessible to all.
- 12 acres of publicly available recreation fields.
A sport and entertainment district
- Bring the world’s most popular sport to San Diego, it is also the fastest growing in the United States.
- Dining, entertainment, and nightlife
- Home for Aztec Football
- An active concert venue for San Diego
- Adds housing to mitigate the city’s housing shortage
- Meets the Climate Action Plan goals.
- It will have traffic impacts, partially mitigated by mass transit.
- 3,520 market rate residential units
- 800 student-focused residential units
- 480 residential units designated as affordable housing
- 2.4 million square feet of office space
- 740,000 sq ft of commercial space
- 2 hotels with potential for 450 rooms
You can find all plans at GoalSD.Com