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Sports Arena designated as a historical resource

san diego sports arena pechanga arena_3.png
Posted at 9:54 PM, Apr 25, 2024

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The Sports Arena, now known as the Pechanga Arena, has been designated a historical resource. This comes amid plans to redevelop the area.

The City of San Diego's Historical Resources Board voted in favor of the historical designation in a meeting on Thursday.

City staff recommended it after a report by Midway Rising developers.

The Midway Rising project plans to redevelop the site to include apartments, restaurants, and an all-new 16,000-seat arena.

The Sports Arena was built in 1966. City code requires a review of 45-year-old or older properties when applying for a development permit.

"I started in July 1991 as an events coordinator," Sports Arena's former General Manager, Ernie Hahn, said.

The report stated that the venue played a critical role in transforming the Midway neighborhood from World War I housing into a lively entertainment and commercial hub.

"It's where most people saw their first concert, their first family show, or the circus," Hahn said.

The report said the building is also historically significant because of its architectural design.

The City said the designation does not prevent the Sports Arena from being redeveloped or demolished.

"It simply triggers a process to evaluate whether or not any feasible alternatives exist that could reduce impacts to the historic resource," the City said in a statement.

Hahn said the arena means a lot to San Diegans and hopes it will be preserved.

"It's a sweet spot for a lot of San Diegans who have a real affinity for it growing up in San Diego. It was the only venue growing up where you can see these big artists, these big concerts, and these one-of-a-kind events," Hahn said.