Chula Vista’s long term push for a San Diego State University campus branch in the city has unexpectedly found a supporter for its appeal: The San Diego Chargers!
A university in Chula Vista would help create thousands of high-paying jobs, said Jim Sandoval, city planning and building director. City officials say SDSU’s presence would make higher education more accessible to South Bay residents and provide an economic boost to the region. Many residents who live near the university want it, too, fearing more problems in their community with the expected enrollment surge of nearly 10,000 students by 2025.
Mark Fabiani, the Charger’s general counsel and stadium spokesman, brought up a potential scenario where a university complex could be built on a 500-acre property on Chula Vista’s east side with SDSU as an anchor tenant. The Chargers could be a partner in the development of adjacent, mixed-use commercial property – perhaps a research center, office space or faculty and student housing. The Chargers could then use the revenue to help finance the stadium on the Chula Vista bayfront site now occupied by the South Bay Power Plant. In exchange, the SDSU Aztecs football team would be guaranteed a place to play, and the possibility of earning revenue through opportunities such as selling electronic advertising and renting out luxury suites, something that is not currently available at the Qualcomm stadium.
“The stadium may not happen in Chula Vista without San Diego State,” Fabiani said. “The university may be essential to making it happen.” Fabiani acknowledged that the SDSU partnership is only a possibility and that a lot of things would have to fall into place to make it happen. The proposal is so preliminary that the Chargers have not identified a development partner, nor have they brought a formal plan to the city. The Chargers plan to inform the city next month that they would like to pay for a financial study on building a stadium on the bayfront site.
San Diego State would be ideal, city officials say, though they’ve considered other institutions. There would also likely be faculty and staff housing, a technology component and a business park with an energy focus.
Let’s keep tuned on feature developments on this as if it were to happen, Chula Vista will definitely be on the map, not only as the home of the Chargers but also for the economic boost that the bayfront stadium and university campus will bring to the city…