SAN DIEGO – The popular sports entertainment brand Topgolf has entered into exclusive negotiations with the Port of San Diego in a bid to bring its high-tech driving range to East Harbor Island.

While the exact location is yet to be determined, the brand, owned by Carlsbad-based Callaway Golf, was given tentative approval by Port of San Diego commissioners to move ahead with the potential $40 million facility. The company’s plan calls for a 68,000-square-foot building on an 8.5-acre site with 102 hitting bays as well as a restaurant and a bar.

It’s a concept that has been years in the making for San Diego and it comes as the Topgolf brand has expanded in markets throughout the U.S. Its most recent California opening happened in mid-April in El Segundo along the Pacific Coast Highway, the company’s 76th outdoor venue.

The proposal drew some rave reviews among San Diegans this week like Javier Metoyar, a golfer who has traveled around in the past to check out other Topgolf sites.

“I’m ecstatic,” Metoyar said Wednesday. “I can’t wait for it to be. I’ve played many a Topgolf before and I can’t wait to envision what we have to offer in San Diego. It’s perfect.”

Metoyar even wonders why the company hasn’t moved quicker to put a Topgolf in the community.

The San Diego Union-Tribune detailed some of the reasons why in a Tuesday story, noting commissioners have been uncomfortable in the past allowing Topgolf to take over a large property on the San Diego Bay. The company’s current plan seems to have quelled some of those concerns, however, as it limits the potential for further development, according to the newspaper.

“You can play one game; you can play 10 games,” Metoyar said. “You get many people who don’t even play golf involved in golf because they’re hitting 10 yards or 100 yards and they love it.”

Even sometimes skeptical neighbors are warming to the idea of the development taking the place of the rental car lots.

“I like the progress of something new and it will bring other people,” resident Sunny Finch said.

The deal is not a sure thing, but insiders say there is a very good chance there will be a TopGolf flagship in Harbor Island within a few years.