A collection of teachers, nurses, hotel workers, construction workers and police officers held a rally Friday in support of Measure G, otherwise known as SDSU West.
The San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council joined the San Diego Building and Construction Trades Council, the San Diego Police Officers Association and the San Diego City Firefighters to support SDSU West and urge voters to reject the SoccerCity initiative, formally on the ballot as Measure E.
“SDSU West will be an unmatched driver of our local economy by creating both new jobs for working families and expanding educational opportunities for future generations of local students,” said Keith Maddox, executive secretary treasurer of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council. “Measure G is the clear path to a San Diego that works for everyone.”
Rally attendees praised SDSU West’s increased access to higher education and the virtue of the initiative’s requirement of a transparent planning process. Independent analysis found San Diego State would have no impediment to adding a campus extension to SoccerCity property.
But SoccerCity project manager Nick Stone pushed back on the assertion that SDSU West is the best economic choice for San Diego voters to make.
“If they were basing support on the true economic benefits to San Diegans of the respective proposals for Mission Valley, those who purport to represent San Diego’s working families and public safety interests would surely support SoccerCity over SDSU West,” Stone said. “After all, multiple independent analyses show that SoccerCity generates hundreds of millions of dollars more than the competing proposal in property tax to support our schools; promises prevailing wage for the stadium construction; and delivers that stadium as well as a massive new river park at no cost to taxpayers.”
An economic analysis by the San Diego County Taxpayers Association in July found that both proposals would return seven-figure annual revenues to the city. According to the study, SoccerCity would net the city $4 million and SDSU West roughly $1.9 million.
After the report was published, SDSU West backers argued that the additional college graduates from the initiative’s campus extension would add $239 million to the economy by 2033.
SDSU West is a plan to renovate the SDCCU Stadium site in Mission Valley into a 35,000-seat stadium for Aztec football, commercial and residential space, a river park and the campus extension. The initiative is backed by the Friends of SDSU alumni group and has received support from City Council members Barbara Bry and Lorie Zapf, the Sierra Club and the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.
SoccerCity includes similar plans for commercial and residential space, a river park and the flexibility for SDSU to build a new campus extension but diverges from SDSU West on plans for a new stadium, opting for a 23,500-seat multi-use stadium for football and soccer. SoccerCity is funded by La Jolla-based investment group FS Investors and has received support from former Olympic soccer players Landon Donovan and Shannon MacMillan as well as San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and City Councilman Scott Sherman, who represents the Mission Valley area.
–City News Service