Council members endorse competing Mission Valley stadium site plans — despite concerns

Posted at 3:44 PM, Sep 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-19 21:52:25-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Politicians are continuing to take sides in the fight over the future of the SDCCU Stadium site in Mission Valley.

On Monday, eight public officials from the City Council to Congress held a news conference to announce their support of SDSU West. It proposes to turn the Mission Valley stadium into a satellite campus for San Diego State University, plus a river park and smaller football stadium. 

SDSU West is competing with SoccerCity, a private development that centers around a Major League Soccer venue, in addition to entertainment, housing, and offices. 

RELATED: New memos raise questions about SDCCU Stadium plans

But concerns remain about both initiatives despite the endorsements.

City Attorney Mara Elliott has raised numerous questions about SoccerCity and SDSU West. Both qualified for the ballot via signature drives.

Elliott sued unsuccessfully to force both off the November ballot. She cited concerns over forcing the city to negotiate with specific parties on unfavorable terms. Additionally, in memos, she says both initiatives are missing key guarantees, including those involving the stadium and river park. 

RELATED: City rejects key changes to SDSU West language

The City Attorney's office declined to comment. 

San Diego City Councilman David Alvarez is backing SDSU West. He was the first one in his family to go to college and says he wouldn’t be where he is today without SDSU. 

“There are so many young people who need to have that opportunity,” Alvarez said. “Why not partner with a public institution that's going to benefit the public?”

Alvarez said he understands the City Attorney's concerns but is still backing the initiative to benefit his alma mater.

RELATED: San Diego State University reveals campus expansion on stadium site

“This is an initiative nonetheless, and I acknowledge that through an initiative, sometimes there are some pieces that don't get included,” Alvarez said. 

Councilman Chris Ward, who also backs SDSU West, says there are protections in place should it pass.

“There will be subsequent steps that involve the community to try to get every little piece of this site shaped up exactly right,” he said. 

Councilman Scott Sherman is backing SoccerCity because he says it’s a better deal for taxpayers. 

RELATED: SoccerCity initiatives provides bigger tax benefit to San Diego, taxpayer group says

SoccerCity project manager Nick Stone said in a statement that the initiative will produce more tax revenue, pay fair market value for the land, and transform the site into a place for everyone at no cost to taxpayers. 

Stone has said nothing would happen on the site if SoccerCity passes but a Major League Soccer team is not awarded to San Diego. He said it's a condition of the lease.