Following a major decision by the city, San Diego State University is looking at how to continue its push for a new football stadium.
SDSU has been considering its options for a new stadium to eventually replace Qualcomm Stadium, the current home of its football program. At one point earlier this year, it was proposed that SDSU could partner in an MLS stadium that would be constructed as part of SoccerCity, a development that has been pitched for the Qualcomm Stadium site. Last month, however, SDSU ended discussions of sharing the stadium, leaving some uncertainty about its long-term plans.
SoccerCity was proposed to be put on the ballot for voter approval as part of a special election this November, but the San Diego City Council voted on Monday to schedule the vote for the November 2018 election. While SoccerCity backers are still pushing for the project, there are numerous questions about where San Diego stands in the MLS bidding process and about the future of the Qualcomm Stadium site. (Our sister site, Soccer Stadium Digest, considered those issues on Tuesday.)
This also leaves factors to consider for SDSU. As university leaders–including former city manager and board member of the university’s Campanile Foundation Jack McGrory–discuss their next steps, they will have to determine where a stadium can be built, and work on securing political support. More from The San Diego Union-Tribune:
“The question becomes are we going to be able to plan something at Qualcomm, because it’s all up in the air until 2018 — or do we evaluate seriously alternatives that include Qualcomm?”
McGrory said several campus locations are in the running. One idea, proposed by architects and urban planners, calls for rebuilding Balboa Stadium at San Diego High School for use by SDSU and professional soccer. McGrory said that location has not been discussed yet.
“It works best when it’s closer (to campus), but UCLA does well with the Rose Bowl,” he said. “That’s an alternative, I suppose — I haven’t thought about it.”
On the political side, McGrory said SDSU needs “to mend some fences” at City Hall. Mayor Kevin Faulconer previously hosted meetings between SoccerCity sponsors and SDSU before the university terminated further discussions in May over site design and deal point differences.
For cost reasons, city officials have been considering whether to demolish the 50-year-old Qualcomm Stadium in the near future, particularly after the relocation of the NFL’s San Diego Chargers to Los Angeles was announced earlier this year. SDSU’s current agreement to use Qualcomm Stadium ends in 2018.
Image of football action at Qualcomm Stadium courtesy SDSU.
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