SDSU proposes to buy, lease Qualcomm Stadium property

Posted: April 14th, 2017 | Features, News, Top Stories | No Comments

By Erik Anderson, Christopher Underwood

San Diego State University issued a proposal on March 20 for the redevelopment of the Qualcomm Stadium site in Mission Valley.

The university is interested in buying or leasing 47 acres of land at the site to build a football stadium and expand the school’s campus. San Diego State officials met with Mayor Kevin Faulconer on March 20 before discussing what they refer to as a two-page position paper.

SDSU has put forth it’s own stadium proposal to replace Qualcomm stadium where the Aztecs football team currently plays. (Wikimedia Commons)

“Mayor Faulconer appreciated meeting with San Diego State University to hear their thoughts on Mission Valley,” said Jen Lebron, Faulconer’s press secretary, of the hour-long get-together. “As a proud Aztec, the mayor plans to keep an open dialogue with SDSU as well as meet with other stakeholders as he continues to review the initiative.”

Faulconer has said it’s important to keep the two sides talking so they can work out an agreement, and that it’s important to find a permanent home for the Aztecs football program.

The school wants to buy or lease 12 acres of land to build a 35,000-seat football stadium that could be expanded to 40,000 seats. There would be 5,000 nearby parking spaces. San Diego State is interested in 35 additional acres for future school expansion. The university also wants to control all rights to all collegiate sporting events at the stadium.

There is no mention of sharing the stadium with an MLS soccer team. University officials say they would work with other developers to complete the site’s facelift, which could include housing, commercial space and a park.

FS Investors is proposing a $1 billion redevelopment that includes housing, commercial space, a river park and a soccer stadium that could be used by the university. School officials have repeatedly indicated the proposed soccer stadium is too small and doesn’t meet their needs to expand the school’s 240-acre campus.

Doug Manchester is also proposing to redevelop the site. His plan calls for Qualcomm Stadium to be renovated at a cost of $600 million.

The seven points of the SDSU proposal:

1) SDSU will purchase fee simple title or commit to a 99-year lease for a 12-acre multi-use stadium site. The 12-acre site will be free and clear of any development constraints for design and construction of a multi-use stadium.

2) As SDSU does not intend to be the sole owner/lessee of the Qualcomm site, we know that there will be a partner of some kind. Any partner must agree to move forward with design and construction of a multi-use stadium within 90 days of land transfer. Failure of partner to participate forfeits any rights in stadium and allows SDSU to move forward with design and construction of multi-use stadium.

3) Per CSU regulations, a competitive process to pick the architect of record for the design of the multi-use stadium will begin upon agreement to begin stadium design and construction process. The design process will provide up to 35,000-seat multi-use stadium that accounts for expansion to 40,000 seats.

4) SDSU must be granted unilateral ability to expand the stadium to 40,000 seats at any point in the future.

5) Appropriate parking will be constructed and opened at the date of the first full stadium event. Dedicated parking for the stadium adjacent to the facility that meets 50 percent of stated parking need, 25 percent within a two-block radius of the stadium and the other 25 percent may be spread throughout project. All spaces must be dedicated to stadium events when a full bowl event is scheduled.

6) The city will grant all rights emanating from SDSU sporting events and other collegiate sporting events at Qualcomm Stadium to SDSU and/or the appropriate collegiate event host.

7) SDSU will purchase fee simple title or ground lease 35 acres of developable land exclusive of stadium property for future university expansion.

[Editor’s note: City News Service contributed to this report]

—Erik Anderson is environmental reporter and Christopher Underwood is web producer for KPBS, reach them at

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