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City Council approves draft of Mission Valley stadium site sale to SDSU

Posted at 12:18 PM, May 29, 2020

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — City Council leaders have approved a draft agreement to sell the Mission Valley stadium site to San Diego State University.

Leaders unanimously approved an agreement to move forward with a Purchase and Sale Agreement (PSA) between the city and SDSU to sell the land to the university for $88.2 million.

The agreement paves the way for the city to meet for two hearings to finalize the PSA on June 9 and June 23. After the hearings, a 30-day referendum period is legally required before Mayor Kevin Faulconer can sign the PSA and escrow can be initiated.

SDSU expects to take ownership of the property in late July 2020, according to the city.

"Both parties wanted to get this done right, and the time and thoughtfulness put into this agreement have created a final product San Diegans can be proud of," Mayor Faulconer said. "This agreement is fair and equitable, and I want to thank Council President Gomez, City Attorney Elliott and SDSU for their commitment."

The agreement is the product of 18 months of negotiating following the passage of Measure G in November 2018. The voter-approved measure calls for the expansion of SDSU, a new stadium, 80 acres of park and open space, and 4,600 market-rate and affordable housing units.

"We have reached a pivotal milestone moment. SDSU Mission Valley will be a true revitalization of public land in all aspects of the plan," SDSU President Adela de la Torre said. "We are thrilled to take this critical next step toward closing the sale and creating generational opportunities for all San Diegans."

Chris Thomas, a graduate student at SDSU who recently earned his bachelor's degree from the school, said he believed the project would take the university to a new level.

"The biggest impact that it's going to create is for the student experience," he said. "It's going to engage a lot more students, it's going to be able to bring in more students to SDSU and really engage in that culture of learning."

The council called its special meeting Friday after intense negotiations, including an 11-hour marathon day earlier in the week. City and university negotiators were going back and forth on more than a dozen key points, including environmental and legal liability.

"The two sides locked arms and said 'Hey, we got to work through these things,' and we did it in a very cooperative manner," said John Kratzer, of JMI realty, a consultant to SDSU.

City Councilman Scott Sherman, whose district includes Mission Valley, said the best negotiations are ones where both sides leave the table not entirely happy.

"Neither side gets everything that they want, he said. "I think that's where we are here today."

If all goes as planned, the new stadium would be ready for the 2022 Aztec football season.