Backers of a proposed new San Diego State University (SDSU) stadium and development project have collected 100,000 signatures, a major step in putting their initiative before voters.
Over the last several months, a group has been working to gather signatures that would allow a proposal that includes a new SDSU football stadium to go before San Diego voters. The initiative would feature other development surrounding the facility, with the SDCCU Stadium site in Mission Valley used for the project.
In order to qualify for a 2018 ballot, the plan needed to gather just over 71,000 signatures from verified city voters. The signatures must still go through a verification process and potentially be submitted to the city council from there, but the group had made it a goal to collect 100,000 names, which puts it well above the minimum amount needed to reach the ballot. More from The Times of San Diego:
“Supporters have successfully gathered many more than the required 71,646 signatures,” said Kim Kilkenny, of the Friends of SDSU Steering Committee.
“Once verified, these signatures will qualify SDSU West for a 2018 ballot,” Kilkenny said. “With overwhelming support for SDSU and the positive impacts the university provides to our community, San Diegans clearly support SDSU West to ensure the Mission Valley stadium site is used to benefit the public, provide a place for SDSU to grow and thrive, and guarantee a permanent, public river park and open space.”
The Friends group had until the end of March to collect signatures but members previously indicated that wanted to wrap up the signature drive by the end of the year. They plan to submit the petitions to the county Registrar of Voters next week.
If enough signatures are verified, the City Council will decide whether to adopt the initiative or place it before voters. A competing initiative, which would result in a soccer-centric commercial development, qualified earlier this year and will go onto a 2018 ballot.
If it does end up on a 2018 ballot, the SDSU proposal would go up against SoccerCity, a proposal from FS Investors that includes a stadium for an MLS expansion franchise and surrounding development. SDSU was at one point pitched on the idea of sharing the proposed stadium within SoccerCity, but ceased negotiations last year.
If its proposal does move forward, SDSU would acquire the city-owned SDCCU Stadium site at fair market value. Along with the stadium, the project would include about 1.6 million square feet of office space, over 4,500 housing units, roughly 95,000 square feet of retail, a 50-acre community river park, and two hotels. The new SDSU stadium would be constructed with 35,000 seats, offering the capability to host college football for the Aztecs and professional soccer matches. Furthermore, the stadium could be expanded to offer additional 20,000 seats and more luxury boxes in the event that the NFL returns to San Diego.
Rendering courtesy Populous and San Diego State University.