San Diego Now Looking to Build 2 New Stadiums

New facilities for Chargers, SDSU, possibly MLS in the works

The Chargers finally have their new Downtown Stadium plan to a point where they can unveil to the public. According to sources close to the process the Bolts will make their grand presentation early next week, either Tuesday, 3/29 or Wednesday, 3/30, so they can start the clock on their quest to get a new initiative on the November ballot.

The Bolts will likely be trying to push through a so-called “Convadium,” a new stadium combined with a convention center expansion in the East Village. If they are successful they would leave vacant the current Mission Valley site that houses Qualcomm Stadium. Here, as the saying goes, is where the plot thickens.

Chargers Special Counsel Mark Fabiani has said the Bolts will be working with other business entities, among them JMI Realty. You may recall JMI is part of the business empire of former Padres owner John Moores, who is also a benefactor of San Diego State University (the Moores family made a large contribution to the school to build Tony Gwynn Stadium).

SDSU has voiced an interest in potentially developing the Mission Valley site if it ever became available. Apparently somebody knows something that the rest of us don’t know because in an interesting bit of timing, JMI Realty has already set up an event to reveal its plans for a new SDSU West Campus that will include a brand new, “boutique” stadium.

Part of the official posting on the website describes the event like this:

“A few years ago, John Moores, ex-Padre owner and SDSU benefactor, and his JMI team began envisioning a redeveloped sports, education and business complex at the Qualcomm Stadium site in Mission Valley.  Now, as the Chargers work to develop a downtown San Diego football stadium, the JMI team, working in concert with Cisterra Development, another prominent San Diego developer, will unveil their proposal to develop the Qualcomm Stadium site into a civic gem that all SDSU alumni and San Diego County residents will claim proudly.”

It’s expected the proposed new stadium will be in the 30,000-40,000 seat range and also be available to host a MLS franchise, something Moores has been trying to bring to San Diego for more than a decade. Major League Soccer’s desire to have smaller and more modern stadiums for its teams was the biggest road block to outdoor professional soccer coming to San Diego.

The program will take place on Tuesday, April 5, starting at 7:30 a.m. at SDSU Montezuma Hall (5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182). Breakfast will run from 7:30-8:00 (tickets to the event are $35 each) then the presentation runs from 8:00-9:00, followed by a half-hour Q & A session. It’s expected during this meeting the speakers will present artistic renderings of the entire proposed space, from the stadium to the educational expansion. It is unknown if a financing plan will also be revealed.

Those speakers include:

John Kratzer, President and CEO of JMI Realty
Steven Black, Chairman of Cisterra Development
Steve Peace, Political Consultant
Dennis Cruzan, Founding Partner of Cruzan
Vincent Mudd, Managing Principal of Carrier Johnson

It’s interesting that Peace will be presenting. He is also deeply involved with the Chargers on their Downtown “Convadium” idea and will be among those working to explain and drum up support for the plan. His presence suggests the JMI idea for Mission Valley is directly related to the Chargers’ attempt to build a new NFL-caliber facility in Downtown San Diego.

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