On the day the Mountain West Division announced football beginning on Oct. 24, the Coronado Roundtable hosted Mr. Derek Grice, San Diego State University’s Executive Associate Athletic Director and the University’s lead on its Mission Valley Project – a project that will bring a new Aztec Stadium along with a live, work and play community to the area currently occupied by SDCCU Stadium.

Grice’s presentation highlighted the degree of forethought that has gone into developing plans for the 166-acre site, on which ground-breaking took place in August 2020 with expectations of a play-ready stadium in the fall of 2022. In addition to a new Aztec Stadium, the project includes university and community housing; retail operations including restaurants, bars, and shops; a SDSU campus and innovation district; a hotel and conference center; and a community river park – all with transit access. Guidance for the project is to capitalize on the region’s climate, employ a coastal-design theme, and draw on local providers of material, food and bar operations (including micro-brews), and service.

Aztec Stadium, the core of the project, will be an open-air stadium with a capacity of 35,000, easily expandable to 40,000 for bowl games, championship games, or World Cup events. The stadium has been designed to build out to a capacity of 55,000 in the future should it become necessary to accommodate an NFL franchise.

Initial project costs are estimated at $350 million, with stadium costs estimated at $310 million – much of which will be provided by revenue bonds issued by the California State University System with repayment coming from public-private ground lease revenue. Additional development will be funded with leases to third-party development partners and public-private partnerships. The complete buildout plan spans 10-15 years with buildings put into use as soon as they are completed. In addition to sporting events, the multi-use stadium is designed to support soccer, concerts, networking events, private parties and weddings, and arts and cultural events.

The Coronado Roundtable will next meet at 10 a.m. on Oct. 23, via Zoom. Please join us as we look at San Diego’s high-tech innovation culture.

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