Women’s soccer great and Olympic Gold Medalist Shannon MacMillan is the newest investor in the Soccer City San Diego project, aiming to redevelop the Qualcomm Stadium sight.
MacMillan, who starred on the 1996 U.S. Women’s National Team and 1999 World Cup team, will also be an advisor to the project’s planned youth soccer academy. She is currently the executive director of the Del Mar Carmel Valley Sharks soccer program.
“To have these guys come in with such a great, clean plan that’s about the community and giving back to the community, it’s exciting or me,” Macmillan said. “I was honored when they asked me to be a part of it.”
The first time women’s soccer was played in the Olympics was the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta. MacMillan hopes to pass on life lessons she’s learned with youngsters involved with the proposed academy.
“How to be confident leaders, and teamwork, overcoming adversity. All the great things I’ve already learned along the way to pass that on and ready to do it the right way in San Diego,” MacMillan said.
MacMillan is the second high profile soccer player to join the Soccer City SD group. She joins former men’s national team member and MLS player Landon Donovan.
Meanwhile, other developers are beginning to criticize the project. They claim the city isn’t getting fair land value, traffic issues and concerns from San Diego State.
“They keep rolling out professional soccer players, all of us would like to have a major league soccer franchise in San Diego. But this isn’t really about a soccer team,” consultant Tom Shepard said. “This is about a massive development in the middle of Mission Valley without mitigating any of the impacts.”
But Nick Stone, with the Soccer City project, cites a $2.8 billion annual economic impact from the project that includes 4,800 housing units, office and hotel space and a 55-acre river park.
“I think if they’re criticizing it and doing it fairly and admitting they own stuff right down the street and we don’t like the competition, people will get to decide,” Stone said. “That’s what’s really going on. They don’t like competition. The public will get to decide.”