“Questions worth Asking-What’s Next?”
The outcome of the vote in San Diego felt like a punch in the stomach.
The Stadium vote, that saw SDSU-West campus proposal get voted in, while Soccer City’s proposal was washed away.
The 54%-46% victory margin for SDSU was very impressive. Political clout, business leadership, civic backers, and a normally silent alumni group rallied to push thru the massive proposal that gives a mandate to the city, to negotiate now with SDSU’s hierarchy. An Aztecs stadium, a river park, additional dorms, research-faculty buildings, all part of campus expansion.
The 69%-31% rejection was a devastating setback to Soccer City, which started with so much momentum. Mike and Nick Stone spent a ton to sell their message of what they felt was the potential of a new Soccer-Aztecs stadium, an MLS expansion franchise, retail development and land for an NFL stadium. Rejected across the board.-
The vote was one thing, but now the tougher part, getting answers to all types of questions.
SDSU is facing a 550M-price tag to buy the 253-acres of land they want for campus expansion. They say it will be a public-private financing plan. How? Who?
What is the fair price for the undeveloped land? Will the Mayor and City have a different value than SDSU’s wants and wishes?
Does SDSU buy up land in parcels, stadium first, dorms-research building later? We talking a 3-year plan, a 5-year plan, decades long plans?
Does SDSU pick up the 6M per year maintenance fee for the crumbling SDCCU Stadium, as Soccer City had proposed?
Is SDSU going to pay the 11M cost of razing the old cement structure, once the new stadium is built?
Who pays for the cost of the River Park they say they will develop, and when will that happen in terms of construction timeline?
What becomes of the empty Chargers Park, vacant for two years now, one that SoccerCity was going to buy and operate? Does it go to the AAF-San Diego Fleet-spring football league team, or it it too expensive for them to open up the doors?
Does San Diego State bring in separate developers for the stadium, retail, the dorms, the research building, and what kind of money do the developers bring with their proposals?
Would Soccer City , still wanting an expansion franchise, in Major League Soccer, return to the table and try to become a partner with SDSU, and help fund the stadium? Of course, who owns the stadium, who runs the stadium, who reaps profits from the stadium?
Will the MLS, on an expansion kick, still look favorably on the 3.5M-San Diego-Tijuana market and wait to see what type of deal gets done, and who pays for what? They did wait for David Beckham, 7-years worth of delays, because getting the FC-Inter Miami soccer deal done.
Will student fees be part of any SDSU contribution to their share of the cost of the academic-athletic facilities?
Can the Mayor, his tenure now damaged by the Chargers defection and the inability to get an expansion soccer team, come back to the table, and try to make any stadium plan part of the city-county wide financing coalition?
We now have a different type of leverage game out there don’t we? Will SDSU try to get the land at a reduced price because of the voter mandate, it’s their land?
Does City Council fight back and battle Mayor Kevin Falconer, now that Democrats sit in 6-of-8 seats on that council, and not allow him to make a bad financial deal?
How long will the stadium construction projects drag out considering all the environmental entanglements that are part of that property?
Will the business execs, who backed SDSU-West, now become part of the financing plans to help the university make this massive project come together?
This story isn’t over.
And now the word ‘burden’ replaces the word ‘vote’.
The burden on the city to make a good deal. The burden on the university to deliver on all the dynamics they promised during the campaign.
Lots of questions, now we seek answers.