OCEANSIDE, Calif. — The Junior Seau Beach Community Center in Oceanside, dedicated to the late Hall of Fame NFL linebacker, could be in jeopardy of being demolished.
“It’s not only because of the name Junior Seau, but it’s the history of it, before his time,” Mary Seau, Junior’s sister, said.
She and dozens of Oceanside residents are raising their voices to try and stop any ideas by developers or the city to tear down the center and the Oceanside Pier Amphitheater.
“A lot of us who are natives in the Oceanside community, we all grew up there,” Mary Seau said. “We are going to stand in the way and we will protest. … We will go all the way to stop the possibility of diminishing those buildings.”
The community center was officially named after the star player for the then-San Diego Chargers following his untimely death in May 2012.
“Through his workout with the kids, trying to help the kids to stay off the street and to be positive, and to also focus on education and to have respect not only for their appearance, but for the community,” Mary Seau said. “And that’s what his legacy was all about.”
At this point, tearing down the community center and replacing it with a parking structure is only an idea, but the group wants to make sure there’s no chance. They’ve started a petition and are asking everyone to attend the Aug. 31 city council meeting at Oceanside City Hall.
“Our voice does matter,” she said. “This community center and bandshell is all about for our kids. It’s a safe place to be. It’s family-oriented. There’s a lot of love and respect down there because everybody takes care of that community.”
FOX 5 reached out to the City of Oceanside but did not hear back by the time of publication.