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Progress Being Made in SDSU Stadium Site Negotiations

New SDSU Stadium rendering August 2019

Negotiations between San Diego State University and the city over a proposed land sale that would facilitate a new stadium project are progressing, as the two sides iron out some key details.

SDSU is seeking to purchase 135 acres of the city-owned SDCCU Stadium site in Mission Valley, which it would redevelop through a project that includes a new stadium, a surrounding outpost for the university, affordable housing, a river park, and more. Negotiations are still underway with several crucial details to be resolved, but on Monday the San Diego City Council directed the city on how to address some uncertainties in a draft agreement that had been identified by the city attorney.

While it is questionable as to whether SDSU would be able to close on the site within its preferred timeline, the latest action marks notable progress in the discussions. More from the San Diego Union-Tribune:

“Achieving a close by March 27 might not be possible, but achieving what we’re intending to do, in terms of starting the development project on time and the ultimate schedule, has not yet been impacted,” said Gina Jacobs, who is vice president of SDSU’s Mission Valley project.

In November 2018, voters passed Measure G, directing the city to sell a portion of its SDCCU Stadium property to SDSU for a new stadium and satellite campus. While the school’s offer proposes an estimated $87.7 million payment for 135 acres of land and sets aside 10 percent of housing for low-income residents, among other considerations, questions remained around how to protect the city’s interests after the transaction is completed.

Council members, working from a spreadsheet of policy issues identified by the city attorney, put to bed 11 different uncertainties.

For instance, on the topic of affordable housing, the council passed four separate policy-related motions. The group decided that the school need only reserve 10 percent of future housing units for people making 60 percent or less of the average median income, with the caveat that it also create programs to help faculty members and students secure homes at below-market rates on site. In addition, the city leaders determined that SDSU would not have to build a minimum number of subsidized units should market conditions change, and it could have flexibility in its mix of rental and for-sale affordable units.

SDSU has been seeking to open the 35,000-seat stadium in time for the 2022 NCAA football season. It would host SDSU Aztecs football, and be designed to accommodate professional soccer matches and other events. SDSU football currently plays home games at SDCCU Stadium, an outdated facility that originally opened as San Diego Stadium in 1967 and previously hosted the NFL’s Chargers and MLB’s Padres.

Renderings via SDSU athletics.

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