San Diego

Developers Tout ‘SDSU West' Campus As Future Use of Qualcomm Stadium Site

But there’s a world of political, financial and legal obstacles to overcome.

If a downtown Stadium becomes a reality for the Chargers -- or if they wind up leaving town, what happens to Qualcomm Stadium?

It's a question that the folks who built Petco Park already have an answer to.

We're talking about JMI Incorporated, the leading landowner in East Village -- where the Chargers want a new stadium and convention facility.

If they vacate Qualcomm Stadium, JMI recommends the land going to San Diego State University.

But there’s a world of political, financial and legal obstacles to overcome.

"It's not about thinking about impediments right now,” JMI President John Kratzer told reporters after an on-campus, public briefing session Tuesday morning. “It's really about the vision and the dream. And really encouraging the stakeholders to think about what's possible."

What JMI has been brainstorming is an expansion of San Diego State called "West Campus", where academics, high-level research, and athletics – think of a mid-sized stadium for the Aztecs and professional soccer -- would co-exist along the Trolley line from Mission Valley to Montezuma Mesa.

There'd be faculty and student housing, some commercial development an plenty of open space, public parklands and river restoration.

JMI is backing the Citizens Plan initiative which could pave the way for all this and a Chargers stadium/convention annex downtown.

San Diego voters would have the say, assuming the measure qualifies for the city’s November ballot.

"It's really a no-brainer, it's really a no-brainer,” says Jeff Marston, a backer of the initiative and SDSU alum active in university issues.

“People are concerned about traffic and Mission Valley being totally built out, “Marston told NBC 7 in an interview. “This is the last piece of property you can do something like this with. And as former (state) senator (Steve) Peace pointed out, maybe one of the last places you can do this anywhere in San Diego County."

While San Diego State officials emphasize that they have not endorsed the plan, it was called "an opportunity to advance SDSU" in a statement issued Tuesday by university president Elliott Hirschman.

The concept also calls for UC San Diego to share space there, if it wants to do so.

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