CSU Trustees Chair May Have to Disavow His Estimate of Stadium Land's Worth - Voice of San Diego

Land Use UNVEILING THE UNSEEN

CSU Trustees Chair May Have to Disavow His Estimate of Stadium Land's Worth

Adam Day once led a task force on a new stadium for the Chargers that put a high price tag on the land around the stadium in Mission Valley. Now he represents the California State University system, which probably won’t want to pay near that much. 

SDSU’s vision of Mission Valley and the current site of SDCCU Stadium

This post initially appeared in the Dec. 8 Politics Report. Get the Politics Report delivered to your inbox.

One of the most influential San Diego residents these days is Adam Day. Not only is he the chief administrative officer of the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation and its casino holdings, he’s the chair of the Board of Trustees of California State University. The CSU system will be the entity to purchase the Mission Valley land from the city of San Diego, if those negotiations end happily after the victory of Measure G, which mandated such a sale.

One of the thorniest issues the city and SDSU face is just how much that land is worth. The university and its supporters pledged, and wrote into Measure G, that the land would be purchased for fair market value.

The supporters of Measure E, SoccerCity, had agreed to an appraisal of the land at $83 million. Others have made the case that the land is worth much less because of how much work it needs. San Diego City Councilman Scott Sherman wrote in a commentary in the Union-Tribune that “unfortunately, rumors are already swirling around City Hall of plans to sell the property at less than market value and possibly give it away for free.”

Day emphatically denied that was a possibility. “I’m not expecting that, and the university is not expecting that,” he said.

He went on: “While I have a fiduciary responsibility to the system as a whole, I am also a taxpayer and I recognize the city has to get the best deal possible.”

Day has a history with the valuation of this land. He co-chaired the Citizens Stadium Advisory Group Mayor Kevin Faulconer set up in 2015.

In that group’s final report, it valued just 75 acres of the Qualcomm land at $225 million.

We asked Day whether he thought that was still relevant. He said he’d have to go back and look at what it was based on.

“Our report was really a report from a moment in time,” he said.

We won’t hold him to that report too much though because we, well, mocked the flimsy case the report made for how it got to that number. But at the time, Day was very confident the city could sell just about half the stadium land for $225 million.

“We believe that’s a conservative number,” he said at the May 2015 press conference when the report was released.

Correction: We had the date of the task force wrong. It was 2015 not 2005.

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