Appeals Court Rules to Keep Stadium Initiatives on Ballot

SDSU West and SoccerCity are both competing to redevelop the stadium site in Mission Valley with housing, commercial projects, and a public park

A state appeals court rejected an emergency petition filed by San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott to remove the SDSU West and SoccerCity initiatives from the November ballot.

In two separate judgments in July, the lower courts also ruled against the City Attorney, but a majority of the city council voted to allow an appeal.

San Diego officials were challenging the legality of the initiatives. 

The three-judge panel wrote in their denial that there is an important public interest “in protecting the fundamental right of the people to propose statutory or constitutional changes through the initiative process.”

Councilman Scott Sherman, representing District 7, which includes the stadium site, praised the court’s ruling. “I am pleased that these frivolous and expensive lawsuits have finally been put to rest. The people will have the final say in November, not the bureaucrats.” Sherman has endorsed the SoccerCity proposal.

In response to the ruling, SoccerCity Project Manager Nick Stone put out a statement that read:

“With this challenge to their Constitutional rights now behind them, San Diegans now have the opportunity to vote for SoccerCity. As the only plan for sports without subsidies, SoccerCity will transform the crumbling Mission Valley stadium site with a joint-use stadium for Major League Soccer and SDSU football, a massive river park, and a vibrant sports and entertainment district — all at no cost to taxpayers.”

San Diego State University also put out a statement:

“With no further legal barriers in our path and overwhelming support from San Diegans, SDSU West is officially headed for the November ballot,” said Friends of SDSU spokeswoman Katy Temple. “The Court’s decision confirms what we’ve known all along – SDSU West is in the best interests of the community. It is the only initiative that creates an opportunity for SDSU to expand its campus through an open and transparent process that will benefit our regional economy for generations to come.”

Both measures propose tearing down the stadium, but SoccerCity would build a sports entertainment complex and SDSU would add extension buildings for the university and a football or soccer stadium. 

San Diego’s City Clerk is required to put citizen initiatives on the November ballot that collect enough valid signatures to qualify. Both proposals have met that requirement.

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