San Diego State University’s immediate past president Monday endorsed Measure G, the SDSU West initiative on the November ballot.
Sally Roush, the ex-president, was joined by SDSU communications professor Brian Spitzberg and former district attorney Bonnie Dumanis in which Roush, Spitzberg and Dumanis in announcing their support for Measure G and opposition to competing Measure E, the SoccerCity initiative.
“Measure G is the only initiative that will grow SDSU and is truly good for San Diego,” Roush said. “Our entire region will benefit from providing SDSU with the opportunity to grow.”
In Roush’s first week as SDSU’s interim president in May 2017, the university ended its original negotiations with a La Jolla-based investment firm to renovate the SDCCU Stadium site in Mission Valley. FS Investors then launched its own initiative, now known as SoccerCity, and SDSU officials, including Roush, unveiled the SDSU West initiative in November 2017.
San Diego City Councilwoman Barbara Bry has supported Measure G since January, when its backers collected the 100,000 signatures required to put it on the November ballot.
“From the beginning, I have supported Measure G in large part due to its commitment to San Diego State University,” Bry said. “Measure G is simply the only initiative for this critical stadium site that will enable our regional higher education powerhouse to continue growing. We must act now to secure the future of our students, city and region by supporting Measure G, a once-in-a-generation opportunity to expand SDSU.”
SDSU West supporters have disparaged SoccerCity as “another shopping mall” in Mission Valley, while Measure E backers have characterized SDSU West supporters as courting local politicians and insiders in lieu of San Diego citizens.
SDSU West, which is supported primarily by the Friends of SDSU alumni group, would redevelop the SDCCU Stadium site into a 35,000-seat stadium for San Diego State University football in a plan that also includes an assortment of commercial and residential space, a river park and a campus extension.
A number of local politicians and advocacy groups have publicly announced their support for SDSU West, including Bry’s City Council colleagues Myrtle Cole, Chris Ward, Lorie Zapf and David Alvarez, Sens. Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, and Ben Hueso, D-Chula Vista, the San Diego Democratic Party and the Sierra Club.
SoccerCity would also renovate SDCCU Stadium and the surrounding area, albeit with a smaller 23,500-seat stadium that would accommodate football and a professional soccer team. SoccerCity includes plans for commercial and residential space and a river park, as well.
Opponents say the initiative fails to specifically include a campus extension for SDSU, but supporters counter that there’s nothing in the measure’s text to keep SDSU from building on the site should SoccerCity prevail at the ballot box.
Supporters of SoccerCity include San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, City Councilman Scott Sherman, who represents the district containing the SDCCU Stadium site, and former Olympic soccer stars Landon Donovan and Shannon MacMillan.
Backers of the measure that garners more than 50 percent of the vote in November, or the initiative with the higher vote percentage should both reach 50 percent, could then negotiate with the City of San Diego to purchase the stadium site.
— City News Service