The San Diego Police Officers Association Tuesday endorsed a ballot initiative that would pave the way for San Diego State University to acquire the SDCCU Stadium property for campus expansion and rejected a competing proposal for the Mission Valley stadium, which would result in a soccer-centric commercial development.
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Both plans are set to go before voters at an upcoming election.
“Expansion of the SDSU campus in Mission Valley ensures the university will be able to provide future generations of San Diegans with the higher education opportunities that enrich their lives, strengthen our local economy and contribute to a healthy tax base for our city,” said SDPOA President Jack Schaeffer “This is public land, and it should be used for a public purpose that benefits our entire community.”
The university has built to capacity in its current footprint, which means the proposal would allow SDSU to grow its academic, research and housing facilities to meet increased student demand that cannot be met at its current campus.
School officials in the fall outlined their vision for the project, including 1.6 million square feet of classroom and research buildings, a river park and open space, 4,500 housing units, retail shops, a pair of hotels and a multi-use, 35,000-seat stadium for college football and other sports.
The land is three trolley stops from the built-out main campus.
SDSU interim President Sally Roush and JMI Realty CEO John Kratzer have said the project would be mostly funded by public-private partnerships, and wouldn’t rely on taxpayer financing. The main exception would be the stadium, which would be funded by bonds to be paid back by future revenues.
An analysis by City Attorney Mara Elliott released last week found that the SDSU plan comes with a lot of uncertainties, including whether SDSU or another government entity would buy the site.
She also found there would be no guarantee the project would be built as planned — or at all — if it were approved by voters.
On Monday, SoccerCity project manager Nick Stone issued this statement on Elliott’s analysis:
“The City Attorney’s analysis exposes the empty promises that the developer promoters of SDSU West are making to San Diego. It’s clearer than ever that the so-called SDSU West initiative, while hiding behind the university’s name, is really about protecting the interests of Mission Valley land barons on the backs of San Diego taxpayers. SoccerCity will transform what’s now a drain on the city’s finances into something for all San Diegans: a new Major League Soccer & Aztec football stadium, sports-and-entertainment district, a large river park, and room for SDSU to grow — all without a dime of taxpayer money.”
If both SDSU West and SoccerCity are approved by voters, the one that receives the most votes would be adopted.
The Sierra Club last week endorsed SDSU West.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer is among the supporters of the SoccerCity plan.
— City News Service contributed to this report.
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