A deal years in the making has officially been approved. The San Diego City Council voted Tuesday to finalize the sale of the 135-acre Mission Valley stadium site to San Diego State University.
There will now be a 30-day referendum period before Mayor Kevin Faulconer can sign the $86.2 million sale, which will turn over the longtime city property to SDSU.
The "final and historic City Council approval of the sale of the Mission Valley stadium site to San Diego State University ushers in a new era for both the City of San Diego and its oldest university. It brings an end to any questions about the future of the stadium site and begins the revitalization of public land to better serve our regional community," SDSU President Adela de la Torre and Mayor Faulconer said in a joint statement.
It took the city of San Diego and the university more than a year-and-a-half to reach a deal. While lawyers were in negotiation, the city paid $1 million monthly for the property.
With the deal now approved, that burden will be lifted and the general fund will get a much-needed boost at a time when Mayor Kevin Faulconer is forecasting a $300 million budget deficit.
Construction is expected to begin in August, shortly after the Mayor signs the deal, on the university's multi-use stadium, river park and housing project, according to SDSU.
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 project boasts new educational facilities, a 450-bed hotel and a 34-acre city-owned river park. That river park's construction and maintenance will be the university's responsibility but will be accessible by the public.
"It's going to be a beautiful venue for all of us to go have a picnic or recreation for hiking," said Barbara Bry, District 1 City Councilmember.
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.
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 Mission Valley is critical to the future of our university and enables SDSU to expand its economic and educational impact in our region,” said SDSU President Adela de la Torre. “SDSU leadership worked diligently with the City over the past 18 months to reach a fair and balanced agreement that protects the public interests we both serve. We look forward to the Council’s consideration of this agreement and to making this project a reality.”