Once complete, the proposed “Soccer City SD” plan to re-develop Qualcomm Stadium will have an estimated $2.8 billion annual economic impact and create 25,750 jobs, an independent economic analysis by the San Diego Economic Development Corporation has found.
Additionally, the construction phase of the project would have a $3.7 billion economic impact and create 41,720 jobs, the study found.
The Soccer City San Diego project would include a 30,00 seat soccer stadium, nearly 5,000 residential units, two hotels, office space, and a 55-acre river park.
“A project of this size presents strong economic opportunities for our region. Our hope is that the data we have compiled will help better inform our public dialogue in the weeks ahead,” said Mark Cafferty, president and CEO of the San Diego Regional EDC in a statement.
Real estate economist, Gary London, who is not taking a stand on the project but advocates intense development of the site, says the numbers are favorable.
“When you see these kinds of numbers, they edify the fact that this is a big project and it’s good overall for the city of San Diego and for the taxpayers,” said London.
Next week, signature gatherers will begin to collect signatures from San Diegans for a citizens initiative to put the proposal on the ballot. FS Investors, the group behind the project, is hoping the city will bypass a public vote and fast track the project by the end of summer.
The timing is critical in order to be granted a MLS soccer franchise. The league will make a decision by the fall on whether San Diego is awarded a franchise.
Nick Stone with FS Investors released this statement on the economic impact report:
“This analysis clearly demonstrates that the Soccer City project will have a major positive impact on our region’s economy, producing tens of thousands of jobs for San Diegans and generating billions of dollars in economic benefit – all accomplished without a single dime from city taxpayers, who own the Qualcomm Stadium property,” said Stone.
The project is likely to face challenges from other developers and environmental groups.
Despite recent publicity, many San Diegans still have not heard of the project.
“Never heard of it before,” said Lauren Senatore-Titsch, a Mission Valley resident.
“I honestly can’t tell you anything about it. I don’t know,” said Chris Davila. But Davila is a union crane operator who would welcome work on the project.
Terri Pontzious, who works in Mission Valley, says the economic forecast helps her already favorable opinion of the project.
“Having more jobs here in San Diego is great. I work down here. Spend a lot of time down here in Mission Valley. I think it would be just a beautiful place to be than what we have now,” said Pontzious.