By Toni McAllister
San Diego State University unveiled more details Thursday regarding a plan for a multi-use stadium in Mission Valley that’s now being touted as a possible future home for a San Diego National Football League franchise.
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“SDSU’s proposed Mission Valley stadium would offer a future San Diego NFL owner the opportunity to partner on a state-of-the-art professional football stadium in the center of San Diego,” according to a news release from the university.
“Regardless of when an NFL franchise returns to San Diego in the future, a professional football tenant would also be able to utilize the west side of the proposed SDSU multi-use stadium that would result in a significant savings to construction costs,” the release read.
SDSU is seeking to acquire the current SDCCU Stadium site for a new 35,000-seat stadium that would be home for Aztec football and professional soccer events. Dubbed SDSU West, the university’s proposed acquisition will be put to voters in November.
But the proposed 35,000-seat stadium could morph into a 55,000-seat facility for the NFL, SDSU officials revealed.
Among the details released Thursday, the proposed stadium’s interior calls for more than 82 suites — including field level, lower bowl sideline and upper sidelines — five different club sections, loge boxes with lounge access, two end zone party decks and six exterior balconies.
“San Diego State University plans a world-class stadium that is inclusive of collegiate football, professional soccer and the NFL,” according to a statement from Friends of SDSU, a group of alumni, community and business leaders who back the SDSU West plan.
Nick Stone is project manager for SoccerCity, which is a competing plan for the SDCCU Stadium site. He said an opportunity with Major League Soccer is more likely than one with the NFL.
“Having worked for many months cooperatively and productively with SDSU on a joint stadium proposal that would save the university $150 million, we continue to believe a joint-use, 33,500-seat stadium for Major League Soccer and Aztec Football makes sense and is good for our whole city,” Stone said. “There’s no reason San Diegans should lose our one opportunity for Major League Soccer, especially when SoccerCity delivers everything the university has said they need — including plenty of land to grow. And certainly, the joint opportunity with MLS is a far more likely partnership than with the NFL.”
SoccerCity backers say their plan does set aside land for a separate NFL stadium, if the opportunity presents, but “no NFL team is a tenant in a college football program’s stadium.”
Friends of SDSU call the SoccerCity plan a flawed and “narrowly focused stadium concept (that) clearly will not work for the university. SDSU West is the only initiative that creates the opportunity for a true multi-use stadium that all San Diegans can enjoy.”
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