San Diego State University's purchase agreement for the Mission Valley stadium site submitted last week will not be considered at next Tuesday’s city council meeting, the school's president announced Wednesday.
Last Thursday, SDSU submitted a signed purchase and sale agreement (PSA) for consideration at the May 19 meeting. The university said it met with Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s office and resolved all the issues the city brought up, and negotiators for the university say there’s no reason for the city to not vote on the PSA.
The agreement, available online for review, details the university's purchase plans for the property.
City Council President Pro Tem Barbara Bry said the city's failure to advance the item to Tuesday's city council meeting breaks faith with San Diego voters.
"After 18 months of negotiations, mostly behind closed doors, with the City’s negotiating team repeatedly moving the goal posts during those negotiations, and with SDSU complying both in spirit and in substance with the terms of Measure G, the Mayor and City Attorney owe the City Council and the public an explanation as to why this agreement can’t be considered in public session on the date previously promised," a statement from By read. "Even worse, they are asking the City Council to approve an additional $150,000 expenditure for outside lawyers whose only visible contribution has been to delay the process."
Bry went on to accuse some in city government who have opposed the deal before it was approved by voters are doing everything they can to stop it from happening, "insider shenanigans."
In response, a statement from Faulconer's office said, "The city is working hard to ensure a fair deal that meets the spirit of Measure G, and they want to make sure they get it right."
The planned 35,000-capacity Aztec Stadium would be among the first projects to be built as part of the university's Mission Valley campus.
The multi-use stadium, estimated to cost $310 million, will be funded through donations as well as system-wide revenue bonds that will be paid back with revenue generated by the facility -- including ticket revenue, naming rights and concessions.
The bond issuance can be timed appropriately based on market conditions. Operating costs will also be supported by revenue generated by the facility.
In the northwest corner of the Mission Valley campus site, the stadium's location will allow San Diego State to continue to use the existing SDCCU Stadium during the construction of the new multi-use stadium.
The project is part of the larger SDSU Mission Valley Campus Master Plan approved by the Board of Trustees in January.
The new campus will provide SDSU with the space to grow enrollment, expand research and programs, and add much-needed housing for students, faculty, staff, and the general public, including affordable housing. The plan also creates a regional community river park.
SDSU President Adela de la Torre sent the agreement with a letter to San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, affirming "that the agreement meets the university's commitments and is in the best interest of taxpayers,'' a statement from the university said.
Every core tenet of voter-approved Measure G and every promise the university has made is represented in the agreement, the statement said.
"After well over a year of negotiations, including hundreds of hours of meetings, my team and I believe this agreement encompasses and addresses all major issues for the city of San Diego, the California State University and San Diego State University," de la Torre said. "What is before you today is fair and equitable to both parties and represents the best interests of the public that we both serve."
The agreement has been signed by California State University Chancellor Timothy P. White.
The university posted a response document, responding to concerns raised by City Attorney Mara Elliott -- including the deadline for when a deal would be struck, the city's existing water and environmental rights on the site, potential liabilities from the sale and the university system's obligation to provide affordable housing.
The university pledged in the document to complete the sale as soon as possible, obey the city's water and environmental regulations, accept all liability for environmental and wage issues after the sale was completed and "is in no way backing away from its extraordinary commitments" toward affordable housing on the site.