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Plans move forward for Topgolf to open first San Diego location on Harbor Island

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Posted at 5:50 PM, Jul 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-13 22:04:43-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — After seven years of starts and stops, optimism is building among Topgolf fans that the popular entertainment venue will soon open its first San Diego location. This week, Port of San Diego Commissioners asked the staff to move forward with developing a site on Harbor Island and negotiating a deal with the company.

Topgolf is a driving range with a spin, using technology, games, food, and drink to create a festive atmosphere, as opposed to a practice facility for serious golfers. Some have likened it to cosmic bowling for golf.

Local economist Gary London, who did an economic impact study on the project for Topgolf, says it will be a big draw to the Harbor Island area. “All we really have is Harbor Island hotels, a couple of restaurants, and a place to bike or walk. This creates another reason to take advantage of this particular portion of the port, and that’s a really good thing for San Diego," London said.

While an exact location for the project is yet to be determined, it will go on a plot of Port-owned land north of Liberator Way. It is just east of the Harbor Police Station and is currently occupied by parking lot facilities for airport rental cars.

The Port has long sought to redevelop the land. However, as one of the final significant pieces of land available for redevelopment along the bay, Commissioners took their time in considering projects. Topgolf first expressed interest in 2015, but the Commissioners chose, instead, chose a deal with a hotel developer. That deal fell apart in 2019, with Topgolf reemerging as a candidate for the land.

A Port spokesperson says it is too early to form a timeline for the necessary votes and approvals on the project. Topgolf declined ABC 10News' request for an interview about its plans for San Diego.