San Diego State University
Rendering of construction plans for San Diego State University's new stadium

San Diego State University boosts offer for stadium site by $19.5 million

Oct. 29, 2019
The university is negotiating with the city of San Diego to buy 135 acres of land that includes the stadium that was home to the Padres and the Chargers.

San Diego State University is offering to pay $19.5 million more than before to the city to buy the property that includes the former Qualcomm Stadium.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the university has presented a revised offer of $86.2 million for 135 acres of land, plus an estimated $1.5 million to account for a portion of the site’s appreciation since 2017, for a total of $87.7 million.

In addition, the university is proposing to take over the portion of Murphy Canyon Creek immediately adjacent to the site without requiring the city to pay for any past-due maintenance.

“The proposal represents a significant step forward in allowing the parties to reach consensus on purchase and sale terms, setting the stage for the city to transfer this property to SDSU,” San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer wrote Faulconer wrote in a letter to university President Adela de la Torre.

The change in circumstances comes nearly a year after voters passed a citizens’ initiative, known as Measure G, that created a framework for San Diego State to buy the city-owned property, where it is proposing to build a 35,000-capacity stadium and satellite campus in place of the existing SDCCU stadium, formerly known as Qualcomm Stadium and Jack Murphy Stadium.

The stadium had served as the home for the San Diego Padres baseball team and the San Diego Chargers football team. A new ballpark was built for the Padres, and the Chargers left San Diego for Los Angeles after the team failed to win approval for a publicly financed stadium.

SDCCU Stadium now serves as the home field for San Diego State's football team.

The university initially offered $68.2 million for the stadium site, which matched exactly the 2017 land value as assessed this year by an independent appraiser. However, the city noted that the sum discounted the property for improvements needed to build a 34-acre river park and demolition costs associated with the existing stadium. Those allowances, adding up to $18 million in potential costs to the city, would be inconsistent with Measure G, the city maintained.

In contrast, the revised price tag of $86.2 million aligns with the city’s interpretation of the initiative.

Beyond the purchase price, most of the original proposed deal terms remain intact. That means San Diego State is still planning to build and pay for a city-owned river park, as well as take over operations of — and all costs associated with — SDCCU Stadium once the deal closes.

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