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SDSU Drops Out Of Talks To Be Part Of Soccer City Development

An undated rendering of the proposed soccer stadium in Mission Valley is shown.

Credit: FS Investors

Above: An undated rendering of the proposed soccer stadium in Mission Valley is shown.

SDSU Drops Out Of Talks To Be Part Of Soccer City Development

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Erik Anderson
, reporter, KPBS News

Transcript

San Diego State University announced Tuesday that it has ended negotiations with the group behind the Soccer City development proposed for Mission Valley, and called on the city of San Diego to issue a request for other proposals for use of the Qualcomm Stadium property.

San Diego State University announced Tuesday that it has ended negotiations with the group behind the Soccer City development proposed for Mission Valley, and called on the city of San Diego to issue a request for other proposals for use of the Qualcomm Stadium property.

RELATED: SoccerCity Developers Reveal Specific Offers To SDSU On Mission Valley Development

SDSU officials previously expressed reservations about the Soccer City plan, which would include a joint soccer and college football stadium, a river park, housing and commercial space. The 166 acres became available when the Chargers announced their move to Los Angeles.

La Jolla-based FS Investors created the plan for the development, which could go before voters in November.

Last month, the developer turned in signatures in support of the project to the county Registrar of Voters. If enough are valid, the City Council will have to schedule a public vote or approve the plan outright.

"For well over a year, San Diego State University has engaged in discussions with FS Investors on a possible partnership opportunity at the Mission Valley site," a school statement said. "Unfortunately, a fair, equitable deal that would provide opportunity for the long-term success of SDSU and Aztec football, as well as a transparent deal for the citizens of San Diego, could not be reached.

RELATED: SDSU Seeks To Buy, Lease Qualcomm Stadium Property

"Recently, Mayor Kevin Faulconer reached out to SDSU in an attempt to facilitate a deal on behalf of SDSU with FS Investors," the statement continued. "SDSU reiterated our offer to purchase land and to provide our fair share of infrastructure costs, but still no agreement could be reached."

A spokesman for FS Investors could not be immediately reached for comment.

On Monday, California State University Chancellor Timothy White appointed longtime SDSU executive Sally Roush, who had retired four years ago, as interim president beginning July 1.

Some observers suggested that the experienced Roush could bring a different approach to the talks with FS Investors. However, school spokeswoman Gina Jacobs told City News Service that Roush "was fully briefed and agrees with this approach."

SDSU officials have long eyed the Mission Valley property for expansion in order to handle future growth. In its statement, the site is described as "a once-in-a-generation chance for SDSU to expand its research, tech transfer, collaboration space and other future needs."

In March, SDSU presented Faulconer with a wish list that included 35 acres for campus expansion and an additional dozen acres for a stadium for the football team.

While Soccer City plans included a home for Aztec football, SDSU athletics officials considered the venue too small and contended that making it bigger in the future would not be financially feasible.

City officials plan to shutter Qualcomm Stadium after the 2018 football season. SDSU would probably play at Petco Park the following season.

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