I like a lot of things about the vision to build a small, intimate stadium, surround it with an entertainment district and some new housing and a big, beautiful, much-needed riverfront park in Mission Valley.
So of course I had to find something wrong with the plan. It’s just my way. Think of it as a service to help identify problems and overcome them.
Just like the NFL, our new professional sports suitor, Major League Soccer, is in a hurry of its own design. Ten cities are vying for the league’s two expansion teams. The league is demanding winners be able to prove they can build a stadium by 2020.
San Diego’s bid, endorsed by the mayor and several city leaders, is led by the group FS Investors, which features an obscure but apparently quite effective investor named Mike Stone, plus Steve Altman, the former chairman of Qualcomm, Peter Seidler, one of the owners of the Padres, and Nick Stone, who is serving as the de facto spokesman for the group.
A project of this magnitude could take years to approve. To get around that, the group is going to try to do what stadium proponents across the state have done: a ballot initiative that never actually makes it to the ballot.
It’s the same loophole that the developer who wanted to build a mall in Carlsbad used. It’s the same loophole through which the owner of the Rams, Stan Kroenke, drove to bring the NFL to Inglewood.
We Stand Up For You. Will You Stand Up For Us?
FS investors are not the enemy of the people of San Diego. The ballot initiative has been certified and only needs the City Council to approve a vote in November. Entities all around are crying foul, but they have little leg to stand on. These same entities ended up costing PETCO Park and its developers far more than the initial cost estimates with litigation after litigation.
Taxpayer organizations wanted nothing to do with the Chargers and a new stadium. Now FS takes the cause of Mission Valley and the "Q" with little impact on taxpayers and helps relieve the City of the high annual costs of the "Q". FS offers some really great amenities and provides real new tax revenue for the City, in the future.
It very sad that SDSU wants to be stubborn. And, they want a new stadium, but they don't want to help pay for it. They want space to expand the campus, but they want to expand their way...only.
FS Investors will be holding PUBLIC MEETINGS next week to obtain input on the various aspects of this very major project. The "haters" have been saying from the start that FS, the City, and others have been dealing in secret all along. Nothing further from the facts can be stated. FS and the City and others have been very transparent about the proposed project.
Taxpayers will NOT have to flip a dime for this proposed project, except the cost of a vote in November. That some are insinuating that FS is creating a land grab and that the City should be in line to receive fair market share for the property in Mission Valley. Fair market share? The way things are today at the "Q" property, the costs to improve the acreage would not approach anyone's idea of a fair market price. FS is doing the City and its taxpayers a huge favor. Taxpayers and the whining corporate sponsors can't have "it" both ways. Either cough up the money to improve the Q or shut up.
Furthermore, all these "haters" have to do is vote the initiative down and everyone can continue to look at the dying Q and the empty parking lot.
No one figures that MLS nor an SDSU presence could replace the glamour of the NFL . But, the shame remains on Mr. Spanos. His loss and the City's potentially vastly improved carbon footprint.
Will San Diego even support soccer? I have my doubts. Professional woman soccer was a flop in San Diego. Why would mens team be any different. You would need the Mexican national team to draw 25,000.
Why don't they relocate another soccer team and get attendance for a few years before building a new stadium?
@mike johnson We had to play soccer in high school.
What is it, a ball game for animals without arms?
I imagine T-Rex would do well on the field if they don't eat the ball.
The investors could always BUY the property (what a concept)--something the former NFL team in San Diego refused to do years ago.
I'm seriously getting sick of this city's insistence that San Diego needs some sort of major league sport, paid for with public money.
And this desire to GIVE AWAY a valuable chunk of city-owned property in Mission Valley is just mystifying to me.
I think the Soccer stadium is worth considering however I see no need for the "urgency" of making a decision, any decision of this magnitude.The mayor or any member of the council that votes for this 75 acre ploy deserves to be voted out of office.
@Mark Giffin If they can't distract us with sports, we might start watching our electeds instead.
I'm sure they wouldn't want that!
This is just another example of a real estate developer trying to use the urgency of a sports league application to force the city council into making yet another stupid move with the city owned Qualcomm site. Having just escaped the clutches of the NFL and the Chargers, the city shouldn't put itself at the mercy of yet another sports team league. This developer is trying to get the city to sell them the stadium site at "market rates" as is, while asking the city council to then increase the value of the property by billions of dollars via zoning changes. The city should consider keeping ownership of the whole site, and just leasing the property to this or any other developer, as the port district is doing with state owned public tidelands under its control, instead of selling the property to any private parties. In addition, if the city were to sell the property to anyone based on market rates, any sale should be at market rates after any requested zoning changes are adopted by the city, not before. Otherwise the city hall politicians would be just sacrificing taxpayer property to subsidize and enrich another private developer. Been there, done that. If the city council bends over for this developer, voters need to throw them out of office, and field a referendum on any actions to sell or otherwise give away city property.