With 72 percent of the vote in, it appears San Diego voters have given a green light to a new Aztecs football stadium and not an MLS facility at the SDCCC Stadium site, with the SDSU West referendum receiving 54 percent of the vote.
Two referendums were on the ballot in San Diego County that addressed the future of MLS in the city. Measure E, better known as the SoccerCity proposal from FS Investors, would authorize a 99-year lease with the city for 233 acres at the stadium site, plus 20 acres at the Chargers’ former training facility in Murphy Canyon. In return, FS Investors would privately finance a stadium that would be constructed for an MLS club (and, potentially, San Diego State University football, along with surrounding development. Measure G, known as the SDSU West referendum, calls for a sale (at a fair market value) of the 233-acre stadium site to San Diego State University, which would develop the site as an SDSU campus, as well as constructing a new football stadium that could also be used for MLS soccer and expandable for NFL football.
Assuming these results hold, the city is now authorized to begin negotiations of the land sale, followed by an environmental review. How fast these negotiations proceed isn’t known, so the immediate future of the San Diego State University football stadium isn’t known. A transitional time between the closing of SDCCC Stadium and the opening of a new Aztecs stadium may involve games at Petco Park.
And this doesn’t necessarily mean MLS hopes are dead in San Diego. Though the soccer-first stadium looks to be going down in the voting, San Diego State University Athletic Director John David Wicker, said back in October that the referendum measures don’t force a decision between MLS soccer and Aztec football. His position: fans can have it both ways with the SDSU stadium plan, as the current blueprint calls for a facility that works for both pro soccer and college football, as well as a slew of other events.
“When we began discussions on a new stadium, we told Populous and JMI Sports to plan for college football, for MLS, as well as other events you’d want there, like concerts,” Wicker said in describing what he called a hybrid facility. You can read more about the SDSU plan here.
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