SoccerCity and SDSU West Officially Set For November Showdown
In a City Council Meeting on July 30th, the two competing measures that aim to redevelop the Mission Valley stadium site where SDCCU Stadium sits today where both greenlit for the ballot box in this November's midterm election.
These two measures have been the subject of several thousand man-hours of scrutiny, including but certainly not limited to endless Twitter threads and courtroom depositions.
The SoccerCity Initiative, which was circulated in the Spring of 2017 qualified first and is expected to have a higher placement on the ballot than the SDSU West option which didn’t make the rounds until late in 2017.
SoccerCity proposes to transform the now ancient stadium into a vibrant mixed-use facility that includes a brand new stadium for the potentially forthcoming San Diego MLS team to call home, in addition to up to 4,800 housing units, office and research space, parklands adjacent to the San Diego River for recreation and an entertainment district that will be home to numerous restaurants, bars and a concert venue.
Most will recall that the SoccerCity Initiative gathered over 110,000 signatures in just under two weeks, signifying for many the rabid support for soccer and the burning desire of the people of San Diego to see the old Chargers home field consigned to history and a new chapter written in Mission Valley.
Conversely, the SDSU West signature gathering drive took much longer to gather the requisite support in order to qualify, closer to three months.
Supporters of the SDSU West movement claim that their ballot measure represents the one and only chance for the somewhat amusingly labeled ‘landlocked’ university to expand. In the days of online modules, virtual reality and the forthcoming internet of things, it doesn't take much imagination to mitigate the demands of physical space.
They’ll claim that the university’s alleged need for student housing, research space and its football are apparently only to be found in SDSU West, and yet despite that, the attorneys for the Friends of SDSU backers of the SDSU West Initiative took grave issue with the language that will accompany that Yes/No check box on the ballot come November and made a formal request to update said language.
"Our position is we've correctly portrayed the initiative measure in our corrected version. If that isn't acceptable for whatever reason, we'll have to determine whatever remedies are available," Attorney Ken Lounsbery, speaking on behalf of the SDSU campaign, said to City Council on Monday.
Lounsbery claimed the drafted ballot language sells the initiative quite short.
"There are certain improvements that are listed and they are mandated," Lounsbery said. "As the ballot questions says, they - may - be built or completed."
Lounsbery submitted changes to the City Council, but Assistant City Attorney Leslie Fitzgerald rebutted his seven key points based on the fact that the initiative itself does not expressly guarantee the claims Lounsbery and his masters put forward.
Specifically, she asserted that the initiative does not say the land must be sold at fair market value, and as such, the ballot language must reflect the initiative truthfully.
"The language must be accurate, cannot be misleading or advocate," she said. "We would not recommend the changes proposed in the motion."
Ultimately, the proposed language was approved as is, despite support from Lori Zapf, Barbara Bry and Chris Ward for the pleas of the SDSU West advocate.
All eyes now turn towards August 6th when these two titanic initiatives receive their final names as Measure _ and Measure _. Expect campaign efforts for both initiatives to ramp up as summer wanes and November looms large.