A rendering of a residential streetscape in the SDSU West initiative | Courtesy a representative of Carrier Johnson + CULTURE

Voter Poll Favors SDSU West Initiative

Carrie Rossenfeld Government & Public Policy

Friends of SDSU, a group of alumni and community and business leaders working to enable SDSU to grow and prosper, has released the results of a telephone survey of potential voters on whether they favor the SDSU West initiative or the proposed SoccerCity concept for the future of San Diego’s Mission Valley stadium site. The poll revealed that a strong majority of voters decisively favor SDSU West over SoccerCity, which voters prefer nearly two to one over the competing SoccerCity initiative.

The SDSU West initiative authorizes the City of San Diego to sell the SDCCU (formerly Qualcomm) Stadium property to San Diego State University for SDSU to develop a west campus including 66 acres for the San Diego River Park and active recreation space and a new 35,000-seat multi-use stadium to house SDSU Football and potentially professional soccer.

SoccerCity, promoted by La Jolla–based FS Investors, offers a similar concept, but its promoters say taxpayers will be left footing the bill if SDSU West passes.

“San Diegans recognize that SDSU West is the only initiative that will create an opportunity for San Diego State University to expand its campus and benefit our regional economy for generations to come through an open and transparent process,” says Leo Morales, former president of the SDSU Alumni Board of Advisors and Friends of SDSU member. “It’s clear voters want to meet the higher education needs of local students, not just build another shopping mall in Mission Valley.”

Friends of SDSU says the new poll found that 62 percent of voters favor SDSU West. In an initial vote, SDSU West outperforms SoccerCity by 22 percent. When presented with the two options side by side — forcing voters to choose between the two initiatives — nearly two to one prefer SDSU West.

While support for SDSU West remained steady from previous polling conducted last fall, support for SoccerCity decreased by nearly 10 percent, Friends of SDSU reports. Opposition to SoccerCity increased significantly during this period, from 37 percent to 46 percent. In a head-to-head comparison of the two initiatives, 27 percent favor SoccerCity.

“There is a reason that SDSU West is leading SoccerCity by more than 20 percent, and that is the SDSU West initiative protects the long-term interests and economic prosperity of our region,” Morales says.

Laura Fink, spokesperson for the No on SoccerCity campaign, says, “Support for the SoccerCity initiative is in freefall as voters recognize this scam for what it really is — a blank check for wealthy investors at the expense of taxpayers, the City and SDSU. These poll results clearly show that voters mistrust an initiative designed without public input or accountability. Support plummets when voters find out that this initiative ties the City’s hands and gives wealthy investors a blank check at the expense of San Diego taxpayers. The facts are clear: voters agree that SoccerCity is a lose-lose for San Diego.”

In November, San Diego voters will cast their ballots for either initiative.