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‘Soccer City’ redevelopment would have $2.8B economic impact

Rendering of proposed Major League Soccer stadium. It would replace Qualcomm Stadium

SAN DIEGO – The proposed “Soccer City” redevelopment of the Qualcomm Stadium site in Mission Valley would have an economic impact of $2.8 billion by the time of completion, the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp. announced Thursday.

The total includes nearly 42,000 construction jobs over the life of the project and almost 26,000 permanent positions, according to the EDC, which conducted the analysis with consultant AECOM. The researchers also looked at the effects on real estate values and of stadium activities.

Mark Cafferty, EDC president and CEO, said the result was the product of a conservative calculation.

“A project of this size presents strong economic opportunities for our region,” Cafferty said. “Our hope is that the data we have compiled will help better inform our public dialogue in the weeks ahead.”

He stressed that the report doesn’t represent an endorsement of the project by the EDC.

Soccer City was proposed by a group led by FS Investors of La Jolla, which has applied for a Major League Soccer expansion franchise.

The project would include a stadium for the MLS team and the San Diego State University football program. There would also be around 5,000 residential units, more than 2 million square feet of offices, 740,000 square feet of retail space, nearly 18,000 parking spaces and about 55 acres of parks and open space, according to the EDC.

While the stadium is expected to be operational by 2020 if the proposal receives quick approval, the rest of the construction is expected to last many years.

FS Investors plan to begin a petition drive soon that, if successful, would require the San Diego City Council to either approve the plans or submit them to a public vote. While the plan has been received with interest by city officials, questions have been raised in some quarters about whether the process was moving too quickly.

SDSU officials have also expressed concerns about various facets of the proposal, including whether it would be too costly to expand the stadium in the future.