Advance Agreements Sought for Competing Qualcomm Stadium Ballot Initiatives

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A rendering of the SDSU West campus green looking west toward the campanile and stadium.

San Diego City Councilman Scott Sherman and former Councilman Carl DeMaio proposed Wednesday that city officials direct City Attorney Mara Elliott to draft detailed agreements with two developers competing for rights to the Mission Valley stadium site.

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The release of detailed agreements would allow citizens to cast informed votes when the SoccerCity and SDSU West initiatives most likely appear on the ballot, according to Sherman.

“Who can oppose a public process?” Sherman said. “Transparency always results in a better deal for the taxpayer and voters deserve to know all the details before voting.”

A rendering of the proposed SoccerCity stadium. Courtesy FS Investors.

Sherman and DeMaio requested that agreements be drafted in time for a council presentation by July 1. They also said citizen input on the initiatives should be collected during a series of public hearings held before the election.

The SDSU initiative calls for a new 35,000-seat Aztecs football stadium that could also be used for other sports. The measure includes hotels, retail space, a river park and an academic campus to be shared with commercial office tenants.

The SoccerCity initiative also proposes mixed-use spaces, as well as a 23,500-seat soccer stadium that could be expanded to accommodate the Aztecs.

Both plans have garnered enough signatures of support to qualify for the November ballot. Whichever measure receives the most votes — assuming it exceeds 50 percent — will win the rights to negotiate with the city to redevelop the Mission Valley site.

“It is time to convene a public process where all the details can be presented and negotiated prior to voters being asked to decide on which development, if any, they desire in Mission Valley at the old stadium site,” DeMaio said.

Elliott’s office last week requested that the San Diego Superior Court review whether the proposals are legal and should be placed on the November ballot, or whether they “impermissibly exceed the power to act through an initiative.”

Elliott said the request was made to avoid wasting money placing the initiatives on the ballot if they are illegal, and to reduce the likelihood of post-election litigation.

— City News Service

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