The proposed San Diego State University stadium at the SDCCU Stadium site gathered momentum Monday, when the San Diego City Council voted to advance an offer from the university to the next step.
SDSU is seeking to purchase 135 acres of the SDCCU Stadium site in Mission Valley from the city, with hopes of constructing a project that includes a new home for its football program, along with a surrounding outpost for the university and a 34-acre river park. After an initial offer pitched in October drew skepticism from some city officials, SDSU presented revised terms late last month, including a purchase price of roughly $87.7 million for the land, almost $20 million higher than its previous offer. Additionally, it calls for SDSU to assume the cost of constructing the river park at a cost of at least $30 million, while committing to annual maintenance (estimated at nearly $600,000). Furthermore, the university offered to take on the upfront costs of constructing a new $22-million bridge, with a 75 perfect reimbursement coming from the city.
With a unanimous vote on Monday, the San Diego City Council effectively moved discussions to the next step. The vote does not finalize a transaction by any means, but it does direct the City Attorney’s Office to draft a purchase and sale agreement that will be looked over by city staff before eventually being presented to the council. While the council is hoping that it could discuss a potential agreement in January, city officials and SDSU still have to resolve some concerns about the offer that were raised in reports last week by the City Attorney’s Office and the Office of the Independent Budget Analyst (IBA). More from the San Diego Union-Tribune:
Council members, however, left unresolved a number of concerns identified last week by the City Attorney’s Office and the Office of the Independent Budget Analyst, including whether the city should set aside $8.5 million of the purchase price to fund construction of the Fenton Parkway Bridge. At the same time, they did provide direction on one key sticking point, noting that the draft purchase and sale agreement should stipulate a Dec. 31, 2020 end date to the escrow period, despite repeated objections from the university.
“The city and SDSU still need to work together to identify the solutions that satisfy the legal concerns raised by the City Attorney’s Office and the requirements of a transaction like this one,” said Kris Michell, who is the city’s chief operating officer. “As soon as city staff receives the draft PSA, we will begin a thorough, objective analysis as expeditiously as possible.”
The meeting marked the first public discussion of San Diego State’s most recent offer to purchase a 135-acre portion of the city-owned property where SDCCU Stadium is today. In late October, the university said it would pay around $87.7 million for the land, which is a $19.5 million premium over a previous bid. The proposal also included two dozen additional deal terms, some of which were designed to expedite the transaction or allow for a contingency plan in case of delays.
Weighing in Monday, council members said they were encouraged by the much-improved offer and believe the transaction can be completed in a timely fashion. Each outlined some of their individual concerns, which they hoped would be resolved in the purchase agreement. Still, there was no consensus on how to handle the many issues raised by the City Attorney’s Office and the Office of the Independent Budget Analyst in separate reports published last week. The departments said in their reports that they were concerned about the city’s legal exposure and a lack of specificity in key areas.
The council is expected to receive an update on the process in the middle of next month. SDSU has expressed hope that the stadium, which will be designed to host professional soccer in addition to college football, can be completed by its football program’s 2022 season. Currently home to SDSU football and formerly used by the NFL’s Chargers and MLB’s Padres, SDCCU Stadium was first completed in 1967.
Renderings via SDSU athletics.
RELATED STORIES: SDSU Increases Offer for SDCCU Stadium Site; SDSU Makes Offer to Purchase SDCCU Stadium Site; SDSU Prepares Offer to Buy SDCCU Stadium Site; San Diego Raises Concerns Over SDSU Stadium Project Report; New Proposed SDSU Stadium Renderings Released; SDSU Partners with JMI Sports, Legends on Proposed Stadium; Gensler Tabbed as Proposed SDSU Stadium Architect; Potential Hurdles Surface in New SDSU Stadium Negotiations; New SDSU Stadium Construction Contract Awarded; Existing Facilities Could Inspire New SDSU Stadium; Potential SDSU Stadium Tenants Courted; SDSU Mission Valley Plan Environmental Review to Launch; SDSU West Construction Could Begin in 2020; It’s Decision Day on New SDSU Aztecs Stadium; Vote on New SDSU Football Stadium Set for November; SDSU West Initiative Tops Competing SoccerCity in New Poll; Vote on New SDSU Football Stadium Set for November