By Sandra G. Leon
San Diego State University’s proposal to buy SDCCU Stadium from the City for a new stadium, student housing, and commercial development was approved this week by the California State University system’s Board of Trustees.
The state system’s 25-member board approved the plan’s final environmental impact report along with a commitment of $350 million to purchase the land from the City, initial development costs, traffic improvements, and other costs, not including funding for the stadium. Approval for a new stadium is expected later this year, and would include an additional $300 million for construction.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer and SDSU President Adela de la Torre both attended and spoke before the Board’s Campus Planning Committee on Tuesday before the full Board’s Wednesday vote. The full Board unanimously approved the project.
“This day is the culmination of extensive work by SDSU and CSU staff, the City of San Diego, and the many supporters of SDSU Mission Valley who recognized this as an invaluable opportunity for SDSU to expand and better serve its academic mission and the community,” de la Torre said.
SDSU has proposed to pay the City $87.7 million for the Mission Valley stadium site as part of Measure G passed by San Diego voters in November 2018. The plan, called SDSU West, was on the ballot at the same time as Measure E, called SoccerCity, which would have approved a new stadium for a future Major League Soccer team. The measure that won by more votes became the approved plan.
Measure G secured 55% voter approval while SoccerCity’s Measure E only received 30%.
The full plan includes a new stadium to serve as the home field for SDSU’s Aztec football team, as well, as 4,600 residential units, 80 acres of parks and open space, 1.6 million square feet of office and research space, 400 hotel rooms, 95,000 square feet of campus retail, and 13,192 parking spaces. One of the major pieces within the project is a proposed $54 million river park.
The full project is expected to cost about $3 billion and be built out over the next 17 years.
““We are within grasp of a modern multi-use stadium, a world-class river park for all San Diegans to enjoy, and a world-class education and research hub to ensure the SDSU legacy lives on for generations to come,” Mayor Faulconer said at the Board meeting.
San Diego State University currently serves approximately 30,000 students on its campus in Eastern Mission Valley, of which 31% are Hispanic. SDSU also partners with Sweetwater Union High School District on its Compact for Success transfer program that guarantees acceptance to SUHS students that mean eligibility requirements. Since its inception in 2000, over 2,000 South Bay students have successfully been admitted to SDSU.
SDSU’s 288-acre campus has reached its capacity for development. SDSU has long sought a viable alternative for expansion. The Mission Valley stadium site is connected to the existing campus by the San Diego Trolley which has stations at both locations.
The full SDSU West project is expected to be completed by 2037.