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City Official: SDSU West, SoccerCity Proposals Could Result in Missed Revenue for San Diego

SDSU Aztec Stadium rendering

New projections from a city official forecast missed revenue for San Diego in two proposals for the SDCCU Stadium site, including the SDSU West initiative. 

SDSU West is a proposal that calls for a San Diego State Unviversity football stadium and surrounding development at the SDCCU Stadium site, making it one of two initiatives for the city-owned property on the November ballot. The competing measure, SoccerCity, calls for a new stadium to house an MLS expansion franchise and surrounding development.

Cybele Thompson, director of San Diego’s Real Estate Assets Department, recently released projections that claimed both developments will result in lost revenue for the city. SDSU West, assuming a 50-year lease, would amount to almost $400 million in potential missed revenue, while SoccerCity is projected to amount to more than $1 billion in potential missed revenue over its proposed 99-year lease.

Thompson’s conclusions are included in a legal argument, as City Attorney Mara Elliott is asking the courts to review both proposals over concerns about their legality. Proponents of both measures are disagreeing with Thompson’s findings, including a leader of Friends of SDSU, the group backing the SDSU West proposal. More from the San Diego Union-Tribune:

“The City would not, under normal circumstances, sell property such as the land involved in the SDSU West Initiative since it is one with great potential for continued cash flow for the benefit of the City,” [Thompson] said.

Those acres were assessed at $73.8 million, that if leased would bring in $7.38 million annually or $369 million over 50 years, she said.

Jack McGrory, a leader of the Friends of SDSU, noted that the mayor backed SoccerCity, which includes a potential land sale.

“It seems to me the train left the station a long time ago,” said McGrory, a former San Diego city manager who now deals with commercial real estate, among other things, as CEO of La Jolla MJ Management.

Hearings related to both initiatives have been scheduled, with SDSU West to be considered July 5 and SoccerCity to follow on July 13. In its argument against the two measures, the city is claiming that if either is approved by voters it will illegally interfere with administrative matters.

SDSU West proposes the sale of 132 acres for the development, which includes a stadium that would be constructed with an initial capacity of 35,000 with the ability to host college football and professional soccer matches. It could also be expanded by 20,000 seats to house an NFL team.

Rendering courtesy Populous and San Diego State University. 

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