“Aztecs Playing Poker-Might Lose Badly”
by Lee ‘Hacksaw’ Hamilton
San Diego State football is on the clock, and time is running out for them to find the land and financing for a new football stadium.
The Aztecs sent out a stern press release last night, saying they were breaking off negotiations, with the City and with Soccer City exec Nick Stone, refusing to accept terms for a joint MLS-Aztecs football stadium at the Qualcomm sight.
This comes after Mayor Kevin Faulconer attempted to barter a deal as a go between to find a solution to the stadium size controversy that FS-Investors is proposing.
But its deeper than that.
It’s not just an Aztecs demand for 35,000 base seats plus the ability to expand to 40,00 in the future.
It’s not just the argument, who pays for the additional construction if-when expansion happens.
It’ really about an SDSU power play to try and get a gift of 35-additional acres of land for advanced planning for campus expansion going forward over the next 3-decades. The Mission Valley land is the front door for campus expansion in the future.
But the deal has so many complexities.
Soccer City says it needs the majority of the land to help fund all the project they want. It they give up 35-acres to SDSU, FS is left with just 25-acres for their owner use, plus the 15-acres reserved for an NFL stadium.
San Diego State has enjoyed success on the football field over the last 7-years, but they do not move the needle in the community. They average less than 19,000-paid fans per game, with student tickets taking up the rest.
They desperately need a home as Qualcomm Stadium faces closure in 2018. The Padres, civic gesture, say they’d make it Petco Park available, for jut one year, a no-solution situation.
The school’s president is exiting shortly. The interim president does not seem to have the juice to execute a deal. The new Athletic Director, JD Wicker, needs to find the solution, but seems to be knuckling under to on campus pressure to use the football program as the bargaining chip for the land grant they need, want, demand.
SDSU says there is a developer out there, but he has not surfaced publicaly.
The mayor wants-needs to move from the crumbing Q-sight, and the money drain it has become for decades.
Now animosity is building, name-calling following…and Soccer City on the clock themselves
If John Moores is the Aztecs ‘sugar daddy’ then he needs his JMI-firm to step front and center and get into negotiations. If the Aztecs have a different developer, then maybe they need to go public, and buy up different tracks of land, and let FS move ahead with its 79-acres proposal.
Of course, that would then lead to two stadiums being built, one for MLS at 22,000, the other for the Aztecs, with their shovel of dirt in the ground, which makes little sense at all.
This is a big gamble at San Diego State It appears this is a power play by SDSU. And there should be a warning to the Aztecs.
Mayor Kevin Faulconer would not be bullied by Dean Spanos and the big time NFL into giving away the farm. I doubt he’s going to be pushed into an SDSU deal by a school that draws 15,000-paid fans per game.
This looks like big time poker. SDSU should not be trying to bluff the city into a transaction and at the same time, get Soccer City to fold its cards.
If the Aztecs lose this hand, don’t make a deal, Soccer City will go ahead without them. And San Diego State will be in bigger trouble than the football program has had dating back to the 1970s, when people wanted to drop the sport.
Show’em….fold’em ….I don’t like what I see right now at the negotiating table.