San Diego voters will decide the fate of the former Qualcomm Stadium site Tuesday by voting on two ballot initiatives that would redevelop the stadium site and its surrounding area.
Backers of Measure E and Measure G have campaigned for more than a year to redevelop the stadium site into a mix of commercial and residential space, a river park and, centrally, a new stadium for football or a potential professional soccer team.
Measure E, the SoccerCity initiative, would include a 23,000-seat soccer stadium that supporters say could be expanded for San Diego State University football. Measure G, the SDSU West initiative, would include a 35,000-seat stadium for Aztec football. Crucially, according to multiple SDSU West supporters, Measure G includes a planned campus extension while Measure E does not explicitly state that one will be included.
SDSU originally discussed the expansion with the La Jolla-based investment group FS Investors. The deal fell through in May 2017, leading FS Investors begin the Measure E campaign later that year. SDSU officials subsequently unveiled a proposed measure of their own, Measure G.
SDSU West has gained public support from a broad and bipartisan coalition of local organizations and politicians, prompting criticism from SoccerCity Project Manager Nick Stone.
“While Measure G has been courting politicians and city hall insiders, we’ve been working to earn the support of regular San Diegans who are excited about SoccerCity and appreciate that Measure E will produce twice as much tax revenue for the city as Measure G, pay fair market value for the land, provide for SDSU’s needs and transform the site into a place that offers something for everyone — all at no cost to taxpayers,” Stone said
SDSU West supporters include San Diego County Supervisors Kristin Gaspar, Diane Jacob and Greg Cox, the Lincoln Club of San Diego County, the San Diego Chamber of Commerce, the Sierra Club, the San Diego County Democratic Party and San Diego City Council members Barbara Bry, Lorie Zapf, Chris Ward, Myrtle Cole and David Alvarez.
SoccerCity has received less public support from local elected officials, but supporters note that former Olympic soccer stars Landon Donovan and Shannon MacMillan support the initiative. In addition, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and District 7 City Councilman Scott Sherman, who represents the district that includes the stadium site, have also announced their support for SoccerCity.
If both measures receive more than 50 percent of the vote on election day, the measure with more votes will be declared the winner. The backing group of the successful initiative would then begin negotiations to buy the stadium land from the city.
— City News Service
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