San Diego

City Council Expected to Vote on Soccer City Special Election Monday

San Diego City Council members are expected to decide Monday if the SoccerCity proposal will be put to a public vote in a special election.

Last week, San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and the City Council were split down party lines over whether to support the redevelopment plan.

The City Council shot down a hotel tax for convention center expansion last Tuesday, likely to be a strong barometer for the Soccer City vote. Even so, supporters say they are going to persevere.

“We're going to come and present all the merits of the Soccer City project to the city council,” Soccer City Project Manager, Nick Stone, told NBC 7.

SoccerCity investors concede it is a long shot to win council approval, but they hope a strong showing will be what is needed to get the green light this November.

Investors said they hope to avoid a special election because they want to protect Measure L, a recently passed measure which puts citizen's initiative measures on the general election ballot in November.

“Soccer City needs 50 plus percent of the vote and we still poll 60/40 in a special election and 70/30 in a broad general election because people love this,” Stone said.

“When north of 60 percent of voters say they wish that they want to see big decisions-- our most important decisions made in November generals, you've got to listen to that and you've got to respect that,” Laura Fink of Public Land Public Vote said. 

But SoccerCity supporters say that time is money.

Their plan calls for housing, hotels, a river park and a soccer stadium. They say ideas from other developers could take years, while the city incurs millions of dollars in debt on the current stadium.

“What we continue to be concerned about and what we continue to show up for is to protect Measure L and protect the will of the voters and make sure we're making decisions during November general elections, not special elections,” Andrea Guerrero of Alliance San Diego said.

Opponents also claim Soccer City's citizen initiative helped avoid environmental reviews, but Stone says Soccer City went above and beyond.

“I'm very hopeful on Monday. The voice of the people matters, the voice of our supporters matter, and the economic, overwhelming economic logic here matters.”

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