San Diego State University (SDSU) has come forth with a plan that outlines its needs in Mission Valley when it comes to a campus expansion and new football stadium.
The Qualcomm Stadium site in Mission Valley has been sought after for development in recent months, particularly since the NFL’s San Diego Chargers announced in January that they are relocating to Los Angeles. One of the most high-profile proposals in the mix is SoccerCity, which calls for a new MLS stadium that could also accommodate football as part of a 79.9-acre development.
However, SDSU has not committed to a plan at this point, and indicated in a statement last month that it was still engaging with potential developers. On Tuesday, SDSU took the opportunity to present its wishes to San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer.
The university is seeking to lease or purchase 12 acres for a new football stadium that would seat at least 35,000, but could be expanded to 40,000. In addition, SDSU wants access–through lease or purchase–to 35 acres for campus expansion, 10,800 parking spaces for the facility, control rights to other college sporting events at the stadium, and to work with a partner who “must agree to move forward with design and construction of a multiuse stadium within 90 days of land transfer,” or otherwise allow SDSU to move forward with construction and design.
SDSU also indicated that it would be comfortable moving forward with building and financing the stadium if needed. More from the San Diego Union-Tribune:
Athletic Director John David Wicker estimated that the campus could build its own football stadium, costing up to $150 million, within three years.
“We’re comfortable that we can go out and build that stadium and finance it,” he said.
On the broader land needs of the campus, Wicker said, “We want to make sure we sit down with a partner that is interested in what’s best for San Diego State but what’s best for the community as well. Let’s make sure we take this piece of property that we get one chance to develop and let’s develop it correctly.”
The move was in response to the billion-dollar SoccerCity ballot initiative now circulating among city voters.
In a two-page position paper, the university laid out a seven-point plan to get an Aztec football stadium and room for campus — an approach that is “imperative to the future success of SDSU and San Diego.” The proposal covers 230 acres in and around the Qualcomm property.
“Mayor Faulconer appreciated meeting with San Diego State University to hear their thoughts on Mission Valley,” said mayoral spokeswoman Jen Lebron. “As a proud Aztec (alumnus), the mayor plans to keep an open dialogue with SDSU as well as meet with other stakeholders as he continues to review the initiative.”
In his remarks, Jack McGrory, a former city manager who chairs SDSU’s Campanile Foundation fund-raising arm, said that the university was responding to a request from the mayor. He indicated, however, that SDSU’s priorities could still be accommodated by SoccerCity. More from the Union-Tribune:
“We’re leaving it up to the mayor’s leadership on this,” McGrory said. “We’re not in discussions or negotations with FS. “We’re responding to a request from the mayor as to what the SDSU position is on the redevelopment of Qualcomm and this is what we expect to see in a redevelopment.”
However, McGrory said SDSU’s wishlist could be accommodated within the SoccerCity plan, which its sponsors have said is flexible enough to modify as market conditions dictate — as long as the total development limits are not exceeded.
“It’s pretty clear what we need and it’s up to the city and FS to figure it out,” McGrory said
SDSU is set to continue using Qualcomm Stadium for at least the next two NCAA football seasons, and no official decision has been made as to what will happen to the facility beyond that time period.
Image of football action at Qualcomm Stadium courtesy SDSU.