A lawsuit filed Wednesday against the group behind SDSU West, one of two dueling redevelopment plans for the SDCCU Stadium site in Mission Valley, claims the initiative illegally misused San Diego State University’s brand during its campaign.
According to the claim filed by FS Investors, Friends of SDSU confused and misled voters into believing that SDSU West was endorsed by the university during a petition drive in order to get the initiative on the city’s November ballot.
FS Investors are proponents of a competing plan for the Mission Valley stadium site known as SoccerCity.
The claim also alleges the initiative "suffers from fatal legal flaws" and says that judicial intervention is needed to protect voters from the "fraudulent ballot measure."
Friends of SDSU released a statement Wednesday calling the lawsuit a "desperate attempt by FS Investors to eliminate voter choice about the use of the stadium property and distract them from the details of their flawed SoccerCity initiative."
The statement said that the use of the SDSU name in their initiative campaign was "entirely appropriate" because it seeks to help the university grow academically and economically.
FS Investors claims that SDSU West benefits private parties that want to develop the former Qualcomm Stadium site for personal gain. They also said the initiative violates the state’s Education Code, Government Code, and Elections Code.
"Public university names are the property of the state and its citizens, and this law was specifically intended to prevent their exploitation by private business interests," attorney for the plantiffs Michael Attanasio said.
Lawsuit petitioners are seeking a writ of mandate, injunction, and declaratory relief that would prevent the City from advancing the initiative to the November ballot.
SDSU West, fully titled the SDSU West Campus Research Center, Stadium and River Park Initiative, aims to transform the current site of SDCCU Stadium into an extension of the main campus with apartments, classrooms and a football stadium.
The SoccerCity plan includes a new stadium for MLS soccer, a river park, housing and a sports and entertainment district.