On Thursday, San Diego State University (SDSU) unveiled plans for the $250 million Aztec Stadium, a venue that is being pitched for Mission Valley.
Backers of SDSU have launched a citizens initiative for stadium and development project that would take place on land in Mission Valley that includes SDCCU Stadium, current home of the Aztecs and former home of the NFL’s Chargers. Details on the development that would surround the stadium were presented Wednesday, with more specifics about the new football facility unveiled on Thursday.
Under the current specifications, the 35,000-seat Aztec Stadium would be configured to host college football and professional soccer. It would also have the capability to be expanded in the event that the NFL returns to San Diego, offering the potential for an additional 20,000 seats and more luxury boxes. The current timeline calls for Aztec Stadium to open by 2022.
SDSU also detailed how it plans to finance Aztec Stadium. Rather than rely on revenue sources such as state funds or student fees, the university is seeking to cover the debt associated with the stadium through a variety of revenue streams, including money generated by the venue and donations. More from The San Diego Union-Tribune:
In a departure from traditional financing approaches, SDSU is not counting on state funds, student fees or taxpayer subsidies.
The annual debt payment will be covered by stadium revenues, including sponsorships, donations from SDSU alumni and supporters, fees from professional sports teams, rents from the various hospitality venues throughout the building and food, beverage and merchandise concessions.
Athletics Director John David Wicker said the funding assumptions will be tested over coming months as the campus explores interest from concert and sports promoters and restaurateurs — even truck pull organizers.
“You name it, we’ll host it,” he said.
This plan is being floated as part of a citizens intiatives, meaning that it would go before San Diego voters if project boosters are able to obtain enough signatures to place it on the ballot. Should it reach the ballot, it would go up against SoccerCity, a proposal from FS Investors that includes a stadium for an MLS expansion franchise and surrounding development.
SDSU was one point pitched on the idea of sharing the proposed stadium within SoccerCity, but ceased negotiations earlier this year. FS Investors currently holds exclusive rights to an MLS franchise in San Diego, as it led the bid that was submitted to the league earlier this year.
Both SoccerCity and the SDSU Mission Valley plan are expected to be placed on the November 2018 ballot. At this point, each plan includes a proposal to gain control of the city-owned site for fair market value.
Renderings courtesy Populous and SDSU.