Cal State board endorses SDSU West stadium plan

Architect’s rendering of the proposed Mission Valley expansion of San Diego State University on the SDCCU Stadium property.

SAN DIEGO — An SDSU West supporter Wednesday praised the CSU Board of Trustees’ recent decision to endorse the initiative to redevelop the Mission Valley stadium site.

The proposal, backed by Friends of SDSU, calls for a new 35,000-seat Aztecs football stadium. It also includes hotels, retail space, a river park and an academic campus to be shared with commercial office tenants.

Expanding the pipeline of college graduates benefits the regional economy, said Leo Morales, Friends of SDSU Steering Committee member and former SDSU Alumni Association president.

“The SDSU West initiative has gained support from leaders in higher education because it acknowledges the monumental impact that education has on economic vitality,” he said.

The CSU board endorsed the initiative Tuesday at its bimonthly meeting in Long Beach.

A campus expansion in Mission Valley is the most important factor in SDSU’s future success, board chairman Adam Day said.

“Today the CSU system officially stands with San Diegans in support of SDSU West as the only initiative that creates an opportunity for SDSU to grow and thrive while bolstering higher education opportunities in the region,” he said.

The competing SoccerCity initiative to develop the Mission Valley site 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 in November, provided it cracks majority support, will likely be given an opportunity to negotiate with the city over the land.

That’s if the measures appear on the ballot.

The San Diego City Council voted 5-3 during closed session on Tuesday to back City Attorney Mara Elliott’s decision to challenge the measures through an appellate appeal.

“The Soccer City and SDSU West initiatives essentially force the lease or sale of city assets on terms set by the proponents,” Elliott said in a statement. “By filing writs with the Fourth District Court of Appeal, the city seeks clarity on whether this unprecedented use of the initiative process is legal.”

Elliott sued in May to strike the initiatives from the ballot, but both cases were rejected by separate San Diego Superior Court judges earlier this month.