Facing uncertain future, Qualcomm Stadium will host 570 events through next June

SAN DIEGO -- With the future of Qualcomm Stadium up in the air, a report scheduled to be presented to the San Diego City Council's Smart Growth and Land Use Committee Friday says the venue is scheduled to host roughly 570 events through the end of the fiscal year.

With the Chargers playing in Los Angeles, city officials are hoping to shutter the aging and money-losing facility at the conclusion of the 2018 football season.

San Diego State, however, is pushing the city for a two-year extension to give university officials time to build a new home for the Aztecs football program. The school also hopes to use the Mission Valley property for future campus expansion.

As a backdrop, a group of investors has qualified an initiative for a future election that calls for the land to be redeveloped with a smaller stadium, offices, housing, commercial space and parks. The status of the ballot measure has so far trumped project opponents, who would rather see alternative proposals or prefer setting aside at least some of the land for SDSU.

Legal restrictions also thwarted a proposal by several City Council members to have the land declared surplus property. Instead, the council referred the topic of future use of the stadium to the committee, which will hold a special meeting at 9 a.m. Friday.

According to the report, currently scheduled events through June 30, 2018, include nine football games involving SDSU, a potential Mountain West championship game and the Holiday Bowl; a Sept. 22 concert by U2 and Oct. 8 appearance by Coldplay; and a variety of events ranging from weekly Wednesday swap meets to used car sales and the Mission Valley Beer Fest.

The mayor's office projects $10.7 million in stadium-related expenses in this fiscal year compared to just $3.5 million in event revenue, amounting to a deficit of $7.2 million.

The full City Council Friday will consider boosting the equipment and uniform allowance for police officers by a total of $4 million to address a worsening recruiting and retention shortfall. Officers would receive an additional $1,473 or $2,100, depending on their classification.

Even though San Diego officials have taken several steps in recent years to stem the tide, police Chief Shelley Zimmerman reported in May that officers were leaving the department at the rate of 13 per month, some for more lucrative jobs at other law enforcement agencies. Recruiting is also lagging.

The City Council is officially on its summer recess but scheduled special meetings to handle the stadium and police issues.