Developer-Driven Battle Brewing Over San Diego SoccerCity Plan

Proposed SoccerCity development San Diego

Developers are funding the major opposition to the proposed San Diego SoccerCity plan, as different visions for the future of the Mission Valley Qualcomm Stadium area and a new MLS stadium are playing out in public.

FS Investors is proposing a SoccerCity mega-development that would cost over a billion dollars and dramatically remake the Mission Valley stadium site into a huge mixed-use installation anchored by a stadium of some sort, whether it be a MLS-specific facility or one shared with San Diego State University. The entire development would be privately financed by FS Investors, who would also own the potential MLS expansion franchise.

The proposal is being opposed by local developers H.G. Fenton Company & Sudberry Properties, who have investments in the Mission Valley stadium area and don’t want to see any negative impact (traffic, competition. environmental impact) from the SoccerCity plan. From the San Diego Union-Tribune:

“We believe we’re on the side of the public interest on this, but there’s no question Fenton and Subberry, who have been major contributors to the effort, are property owners in Mission Valley and they — like other property owners in Mission Valley — are going to be very negatively impacted by this development,” [consultant Tom] Shepard said.

Nick Stone, project manager for SoccerCity, offered a different perspective.

“It is unfortunate that the big Mission Valley developers are choosing to view this proposal as competition that must be killed,” Stone said. “We believe our proposal is a rising tide that will make the valley a better place for all San Diegans.”

If put to referendum, the proposal require a simple majority of voters to approve the plan, as FS Investors is not seeking public funding for the project. Besides the MLS stadium (which could possibly be shared with San Diego State University football), the billion-dollar development includes 3.1-million square feet of office space, 4,800 homes, two hotels and 800 student apartments.

MLS sees San Diego has a prime expansion market, especially with the departure of the NFL’s San Diego Chargers. It’s been made clear that no final decisions on the next four MLS expansion teams will be made until the fall referendum.

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