Aerial view of Midway District
An aerial view of the Midway District along Sports Arena Boulevard. Courtesy City of San Diego

The San Diego City Council voted unanimously Monday to consider just three teams bidding to redevelop the dilapidated Midway District and aging Sports Arena.

The shortlist consists of Midway Rising, HomeTownSD and Midway Village+. All three plan to replace the arena and build thousands of units of new housing. Two other bidders that only planned to renovate the nearly 60-year-old stadium were rejected.

“I want to thank the City Council for unanimously supporting our recommendation to initiate the next phase of negotiations with these bidders,” said Mayor Todd Gloria after the vote.

“We are now a step closer to realizing a revitalized Midway District that all of us can be proud of. My goal remains to deliver a project that creates significant affordable housing and a new world-class arena that will serve the people of this city for generations to come,” he said.

The 50-acre site is known for dilapidated warehouses, strip clubs and sprawling parking lots. In 2020 voters agreed to remove a long-standing 30-foot height limit to assist redevelopment, though Measure E faces legal challenges.

Former Mayor Kevin Faulconer selected another development team led by Brookfield Housing in August 2020, to redevelop the area, but the city was notified in 2021 that the bidding process had likely violated the 2019 Surplus Land Act. Brookfield was one of the two bidders rejected on Monday.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.