SAN DIEGO – A San Diego State University official Thursday laid out his organization’s academic vision for the Mission Valley site should the school have an opportunity to purchase it from the city.
Barring further legal challenges, two initiatives to develop the site, where SDCCU Stadium currently stands, appear headed to the November ballot. Two San Diego Superior Court judges ruled in favor of their legality earlier this month.
SDSU West, a coalition of alumni, community and business leaders, is backing a proposal for a new 35,000-seat Aztecs football stadium. The measure includes hotels, retail space, a river park and an academic campus to be shared with commercial office tenants.
Building a small satellite campus in Mission Valley would allow the university to expand its entrepreneurial resources through additional public- private research partnerships with local companies and nonprofits, said Stephen Welter, vice president for research and dean of Graduate Affairs.
“The co-location of SDSU’s intellectual capital with their enterprise allows for the direct flow of ideas, which benefits both sides of the relationship,” he said. “We are creating a culture of openness to these kinds of partnerships. We’re training our students to think differently, and encouraging our faculty to think entrepreneurially.”
The competing SoccerCity initiative also proposes mixed-use spaces, as well as a 23,500-seat professional soccer stadium that could be expanded to accommodate Aztecs football.
Supporters of whichever measure receives more votes, provided it cracks majority support, should be given an opportunity to negotiate with the city over the land.
The school would partner with local companies and agencies to develop SDSU Mission Valley instead of relying upon taxpayer dollars, according to officials. The site would connect to the university’s main campus via a quick trolley ride.
SDSU officials pointed to a recent trip to Atlanta, where they toured a multiblock Georgia Tech satellite campus anchored by university-owned buildings leased to companies, mostly from tech and entrepreneurial sectors.
Tenants such as Home Depot, Delta Air Lines and Panasonic offer internship and hiring opportunities to students, and they collaborate with researchers on projects funded by private and public grants.
San Diego has similar resources in tech, manufacturing, clinical services, environmental planning and biomedical diagnostics, according to officials.
“Partnering outside the university gives students and faculty access to San Diego’s best minds, who are focused on problem-solving, and whose work powers the region,” Welter said.