Debate Over Future of San Diego’s Sports Arena Area

by on July 15, 2020 · 3 comments

in Ocean Beach, San Diego

They’re coming in fast and furious. New proposals for the future of San Diego’s Sports Arena and their proponents are flooding the airwaves, blogs, newspapers and websites with their ideas, dreams of profits, and plans for the Midway District.

Here’s a few.

Matt Potter’s piece is a little dated, but just the same, San Diego Reader:

Will Henry Samueli or Phil Anschutz end up with Sports Arena?

More Moores wheels and deals

Who will be the lucky bidder to turn the run-down, city-owned San Diego Sports Arena and dilapidated environs into a glitzy and lucrative forest of new high-rises?

Judging by a flurry of reports emanating from city hall, the public will be the last to know. “Four developers last week submitted detailed plans for how they each envision transforming the area and replacing the 54-year-old arena with a modern version,” says a June 17 Union-Tribune account. But details, including the identities of the principals, remain top secret. “City officials are declining to reveal the names of the developers or the proposals they submitted until next month.”

Offers the paper: “That is standard practice when the city issues requests for proposals, which require developers to submit sensitive and proprietary information about their finances.” For more, go here.

The online Beacon adds:

SD Loyal reveals stadium plan as part of Sports Arena site proposal

San Diego Loyal SC announced its proposed master plan on July 13 for its new soccer stadium as part of a process initiated by the City of San Diego to redevelop the Sports Arena site in the Midway-Pacific Highway neighborhood.

This proposed stadium for the SD Loyal would serve as a temporary home for up to a decade while the team plans to grow its fanbase. In addition to the new temporary soccer stadium, Midway Sports & Entertainment District’s proposal features a music venue, housing, retail, restaurants, and, it is anchored by a new 12-acre public park.

The modular stadium, which can seat up to 15,000 fans, is included in Phase 1 of the Midway Sports & Entertainment District plan and would break ground in 2022. For more, go here.

Bryce Miller, columnist at San Diego Union-Tribune:

It’s long past time for the 54-year-old Sports Arena to be replaced

When it comes to reimagining and resuscitating the Midway District surrounding the old Sports Arena, San Diego seems poised to fumble a huge part of it … in the most predictably San Diego way possible.

Neither of the initial developer proposals to breathe life into the 48-acre property includes a new arena to replace the nearly 54-year-old, graying ghost that is all but begging for a retirement cake.

There’s no sure pathway to a facility befitting the eighth-largest city in America. There apparently is no long-term thinking about how fresh concrete might position San Diego for a possible NBA or NHL future.

Instead of thinking big, we seem content to accept small. Instead of charging boldly, we’re tip-toeing like Shaggy and Scooby Doo. Instead of mining rare opportunity, we instinctually lower the bar. For some uncomfortable context, Tulsa, Okla., the 47th-largest U.S. city, has a 19,000-seat arena that’s more than four decades newer. For more, go here.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

John O. July 16, 2020 at 10:02 pm

Well, I think we all know who will end up with this one. Moores.


Doug Blackwood July 17, 2020 at 9:56 pm

There was a good reason for the 30 foot height limit!


Susan Baldwin July 17, 2021 at 10:03 pm

How much affordable housing and park land will be included in the redevelopment of the Sports Arena site. Here is my proposal for affordable housing there:


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