San Diego

The First Step to Transforming the Current Qualcomm Stadium Site

What happens next should the city decide to sell this 166-acre plot of land? Short answer: It's complicated.

Now that the Chargers have bolted to Los Angeles, ideas on how to transform the current Qualcomm Stadium site are coming in.

The first step will be finding someone to buy the 166-acre slot of land, a transaction that will likely be a long, complicated process. 

"Any sale of land would be a complex deal that would have to go through a number of different steps to come to some type of conclusion," said San Diego City Councilmember Chris Cate.

The City Charter has several provisions. 

If the city is selling more than 80 acres of land, any deal will have to go to a public vote. Depending on the proposed development, the city could decide to lease a portion of the property.

"It's not gonna be one of those things where there's this silver bullet, oh this makes sense we make a vote tomorrow and it's done," said councilmember Scott Sherman.

There's another twist: the City Water Department also owns a chunk of the land. 

The department would have to be compensated for the assessed value of it's land. But how should that land be assessed?It's not currently zoned for anything specific.

"I think part of, maybe, some folk's frustration, is that we don't have a step by step process today. Obviously it's very fluid week, since the Chargers decision," said Cate.

Some of the proposed plans for the land include a satellite campus for San Diego State University on the property, complete with a smaller stadium for Aztec football. 

Coming up with ideas is the easy part, officials say, and bringing them to life will take patience. 

"And it really depends on what ideas are put forth and what makes the most sense for the taxpayers, because at the end of the day, it's the taxpayers land," Sherman said.

There are so many potential variables to what could happen with the land that there's no way to say how any transaction will unfold. 

However, Councilmember Sherman says to keep the ideas coming so that City can determine which plan is in the best interest of the city. 

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