Competing plans battling for right to build Mission Valley stadium
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) —The battle to redevelop the SDCCU stadium site in Mission Valley is escalating, as supporters of two competing initiatives push for voter approval.
Nick Stone, the project manager for SoccerCity is feeling optimistic, and spoke about his campaign’s momentum. Stone said the SoccerCity plan would involve no taxpayer dollars and would create huge economic benefits though property tax revenues.
In the plan known as Measure E, Stone’s investor group would build a soccer stadium for a new major league soccer team in San Diego.
The rival initiative, Measure G, which is called the SDSU West plan would also build a new stadium for Aztec football. Backers of Measure G said the stadium could also be used for soccer. But supporters of SoccerCity said they have doubts about how the university will be able to foot the costs of a new stadium.
The Measure E campaign said that attendance for Aztec games is down this year, with this year’s homecoming game against San Jose State declining by 34% from SDSU’s 2017 homecoming game. Stone said if SDWU West is relying on ticket sales to help pay for a new stadium, those plans could be in jeopardy.
The SoccerCity project manager said fewer ticket sales may push the cost of the new stadium onto the students.”Who has to make up the gap? The students,” Stone said. Backers of Measure G patently rejected that idea.
Fred Pierce, a member of the Friends of SDSU West Steering Committee said the university has other ways to raise the money. “Under no circumstances would the students ever be looked to, to pay for the new stadium,” Pierce said.
Jack McGrory, another member of the same SDSU West group said he’s confident about the plan for the stadium financing. “Naming rights, concession sales, ticket sales, parking, corporate sponsorships, premium seat sales; there’s a whole combination of revenues that will total almost $20 million that will then be used to finance and provide debt service for the bonds,” McGrory said.
Whose stadium would be built most quickly? Each side is making the same claim that their rivals are big on talk but little else. Juan Carlos Rodriguez, the director of sports for the television network, Univision and a Measure E booster said the developers behind SoccerCity are ready to make good on their plans. “We have to deliver a stadium and a sports team before the next 3 years,” Rodriguez said.
McGrory, speaking for SDSU West said his group would be ready to start construction on a new Aztec stadium in 2020. As for SoccerCity, MdGrory said, “We don’t know when a soccer stadium will be built because they don’t have a team.”
McGrory said Measure G is about supporting the growth of SDSU. “The university needs to expand,” he said.