On March 15, the traveling band of professional signature-gatherers will once again land in San Diego. Victory Consultants, a local coordinator of such hired help, had a warning for people coming to town.
“I can tell you this you need to start working and getting those arms in shape, folks, because this is going to be one of those heavy, heavy petition booklets,” said the voice on Victory Consultants’ hotline that signature-gatherers from across the country can check.
Unfortunately, there’s no word yet on what they’re going to pay per signature to make all that exercise worth it.
The petition will be the one finally made official last week by FS Investors, the group that wants to lease some of the land, and buy the rest, that currently holds up Qualcomm Stadium. They want to build housing, a riverfront park, an entertainment district and, of course, a new soccer stadium that would double as a home for San Diego State University football.
The development, dubbed SoccerCity, supposedly will not happen unless the City Council rubber-stamps the petition and lets the plan go through instead of sending it to the ballot. It is a measure that FS Investors does not want to see got the ballot.
A couple of weeks ago, I wondered how FS Investors would figure out how to buy the land. After all, other prominent San Diegans would probably like to buy or lease it.
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
I am not against the project but there are a couple of things that bother me. First is if we were to get an MLS team I do not see it being named anything but the Sockers. Since there is ownership of that name now the group should be in negotiation to secure the name rights for an MLS team. The history of the San Diego Sockers is rich and goes all the way back to the NASL. Just as the Gulls secured the historical name so should this group. I have not heard of any indication they intend to do so. Second the current proposal is simply too small for SDSU. With the Chargers gone and a good current SDSU program this is an opportunity for SDSU. Even at the proposed 40k expansion I feel is too small. The group needs to think bigger. I would say a 50k plus stadium is more like it. I do not see the NFL coming back anytime soon and think we could have a premier program here in San Diego State. San Diego has been a football town and still is. With the Chargers gone and a vibrant and deep alumni base I foresee increased ticket sales. Even 40k is too small for the Aztecs moving forward. I think this is the biggest problem before the group right now how does it attract the intimacy of MLS with the potential of San Diego. We are not a small market, this stadium proposal is simply too small
@Glen Gallo While the Sockers name goes way back, the success of that franchise was all indoors. It's an indoor name. If MLS comes, a new fresh name should be chosen. The indoor game presumably will still be played here as it will be a less expensive option for fans who may find MLS ticket prices too high. MLS games are not cheap to go to.
The Aztecs don't need anything above 40,000. We aren't living in Lincoln, Nebraska, Ann Arbor, Michigan, Tuscaloosa, Alabama or Austin, Texas. 40,000 will be more than enough for a football program that, until recently, has struggled and will have a hard time ever getting into a "power" conference. The main ingredient for a new college football stadium is "fan experience". Keep the capacity to a reasonable level and the full houses, hopefully, that ensue, will ensure a fun time for everyone.
1978 through 1984 the Sockers NASL Outdoor team only failed to qualify for the playoffs one season out of seven and made the conference final three times during that run. I would call that successful.
They then took that coach and name and dominated the indoors for many years
I attended both in and outdoor games The name is desirable has history for generations of San Diegans
I attend Aztecs games now and while competing with the Chargers drew more than 30k per game. It will be interesting what next year brings in
I appreciate your reply but respectfully disagree on both of your points.
@Glen Gallo @Robert Cohen I keep hearing that MLS is what the "millennials" are into. If so, they don't remember anything about the "outdoor" Sockers. The NASL was a long time ago. The Seattle Sounders, Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps kept their NASL names because those teams continued on in various outdoor leagues. Unless FS Investors buys the indoor team too, I doubt the Sockers will want to give up their name, though of course, money talks.
Speaking of the NASL, remember the Toros? They moved to SD from LA and played one year here before folding.
This whole "citizen initiative" thing has gotten out of hand. A relatively few people can force a whole community to cater to their whims. Is this what Gov. Hiram Johnson intended when his Progressive Party took office back in the day? Seems to me that the venture capitalists and the hedge fund managers are what the railroad barons were in days of old. Want to do a project? Let's hire some signature gatherers and pressure (or grease) city council members to approve it without going to the voters as a whole. I guess we should be thankful that the referendum system works both ways and a decision by the council can be put to a public vote. But it sure seems to be a waste of money and time for everyone involved.
The vast majority of the local San Diego construction workforce (non-union) will have to assume there would be a secret backroom deal giving organized labor a monopoly (Project Labor Agreement) in building / running the stadium. The problems brought through union environmental extortion (greenmail) will manifest AFTER a blessing by the city council or vote by tax payers in the form of union hiring halls in LA. / No-Cal emptying out to build San Diego while local state approved non-union apprentices sit on the sidelines.
Not going to happen, stick a fork in this one...
@Chris Brewster So long as "the People" are too busy to actually learn what is going on . . . yes.
Gee, Nick, if you actually have renderings on how your little soccer stadium could be expanded to 40k--show them already. Just so I can see it. Before I vote against it.
You need to fix the grammar in this line above: "This donation will make you a Inside Voice member."
Re SoccerCity - the sooner it dies, the better things will be for San Diego. SoccerCity is simply a consolation prize for those who want something to replace the Chargers. San Diego has one major league sports team and that's enough. But this is not really about sports teams. It's about big money ego in San Diego. I've watched it over and over. There are a lot of things to love about this city, but Big Money Ego is not one of them.
What is the liability for San Diego in this project? Are we being paid market rate rent? Are we selling the land at market rate? Who pays for the up grade to the infrastructure that putting in so many businesses and homes will require? Is there an irrevocable bond to pay for the remediation of the site at the end of its use? Will the Coastal Commission sign off on the project? Does San Diego get a cut of the gross from the stadium? Will the operators commit to hiring locally, both for construction and operation of the project? Will there be low income housing as part of the project?
Lots of questions and very few answers at this point.
One last question: Are we being asked to buy a pig in a poke? (Have someone old explain it to you)
I can hear that pig squealing from here.
Two things my parents drummed into my head while I was growing up.
1. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
2. If you are being rushed into making a decision, don't.