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SDSU Makes Offer to Purchase SDCCU Stadium Site

New SDSU Stadium rendering August 2019

San Diego State University has presented its offer to purchase the SDCCU Stadium site from the City of San Diego, making it latest move to redevelop the property.

The SDCCU Stadium site in Mission Valley is being targeted by SDSU for a project that will include a new stadium, along with a surrounding outpost for the university. Under the terms of its offer that was publicly presented Monday, SDSU is proposing to buy 132 acres from the city at a cost of $68.2 million. In addition, the university would assume the cost of constructing a 34-acre river park at a cost of at least $30 million, while committing to annual maintenance (estimated at nearly $600,000). Furthermore, it would take on the upfront costs of constructing a new $22-million bridge, with a 75 perfect reimbursement coming from the city.

SDCCU Stadium’s future would be affected under the terms of the offer, as SDSU would assume annual maintenance costs from the time that the transaction closed until the aging facility is demolished. From the city’s perspective, there appears to be several questions about the offer, including whether it adheres to the language in last November’s voter-approved measure directing the city to enter into negotiations with SDSU. The city has not made a decision on the offer at this time, and it will have plenty of questions to sort out before deciding how to proceed. More from the San Diego Union-Tribune:

City Council members said they were encouraged by the public discussion, but wished to evaluate the proposal in more detail before weighing in on specific terms. Still, some of the remarks from Scott Sherman, Chris Cate, Mark Kersey and Monica Montgomery underscored a discrepancy in how the city and the university interpret the text of Measure G.

“I just want to put on the record that I do believe there have been, whether intentionally or not, misrepresentations about where the city stands out there in the public,” Montgomery said. “I think that we are really trying to adhere to what the voters believe they were voting on. And in our municipal code, which is a derivative of the measure, it does say that river park improvements shall not be made at the cost of the general fund. If we take that as a deduction, my interpretation is that, in effect, that’s what it would be. … It also has very strong language about demolition.”

In other words, the city cannot absorb river park improvements or demolition costs in the purchase price. The disparity equates to about $18 million in 2017 dollars with fair market value climbing to $86.2 million — and even more in 2020 dollars.

A separate debate exists around whether fair market value should be indexed by an annual appreciation rate of more than 2 percent. Last week, a city report said that the land value could be as high as $104.5 million in 2020 dollars. However, Andrea Tevlin, the city’s independent budget analyst, altered her office’s determination on Monday, saying instead that the value would be as high as $91.9 million, assuming a close date in September 2020.

Along with building a new stadium, SDSU would also use a portion of the development for the construction of new affordable housing. According to the university, its offer package to the city–including the property acquisition costs and other expenses–is valued at over $150 million.

“SDSU Mission Valley will encourage opportunities for all, providing quality higher education, building collaborative spaces to facilitate innovation, enhancing environmental sustainability and living wages,” SDSU President Adela de la Torre said in a press statement. “Today, our offer not only complies with everything in Measure G, we believe it also goes above and beyond in providing tangible benefits and physical amenities for the residents of our great city.”

The aging SDCCU Stadium was first built in 1967 and previously hosted both the NFL’s Chargers and MLB’s Padres.

Renderings via SDSU athletics.

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