Follow The Money: The campaigns for and against SoccerCity and S - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Follow The Money: The campaigns for and against SoccerCity and SDSU West

Posted: Updated:

The former Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley is shown on May 15, 2018, from the trolley line that passes through the 166-acre site. (Megan Wood/inewsource)

By Jill Castellano and Brad Racino | inewsource

This is the second of a five-part Follow The Money series by inewsource reporters Jill Castellano and Brad Racino, leading up to the Nov. 6 election. In this installment, they look at the two ballot measures that propose to redevelop the former Qualcomm Stadium site in Mission Valley. Measure E is the SoccerCity proposal. Measure G is the SDSU West proposal.

On Monday, the series launched with a look at the money on both sides of Proposition 6, which would repeal a state gas tax increase. The other topics that will be covered this week are requiring all county elections to be decided in November; the San Diego Unified School District bond proposal; and a San Diego government transparency measure.

Each of the Follow The Money stories will air on KPBS radio and TV and are available as inewsource podcasts on iTunes. Below is the radio transcript, which has been edited for clarity.

SoccerCity and SDSU West Q&A

Brad: I'm Brad Racino.

Jill: And I'm Jill Castellano. This is the second episode of our series where we dig into the money behind the major ballot measures to be decided in the November election.

Brad: In today's episode: SoccerCity. SDSU West. You've probably heard them mentioned quite a bit recently. Both aim to transform the former Qualcomm Stadium site.

Jill: We'll explain each one.

Brad: Then, Jill will tell you about the people funding these ballot measures. Who's paying for those TV commercials, fliers and radio ads.

Jill: We have got a ton to cover. Lots of people, and lots of money.

Brad: When the Chargers ditched San Diego for L.A. in early 2017 …

Jill: Ouch.

Brad: … the city was left with 166 acres of prime real estate in Mission Valley that's a huge money suck for the city.

Jill: Taxpayers are still paying down $31.6 million in stadium debt through 2027. Now, the groups behind both measures say their proposal is going to be better for San Diego.

Brad: First, let's talk about SDSU West.

Jill: That's Measure G. It would turn the land into a western campus for San Diego State University. That includes new administrative buildings, a river park, some low-income housing and a new stadium for the school's football team.

Brad: And why does SDSU want this land?

Jill: Here's Kim Kilkenny, who's part of the committee supporting SDSU West, talking to KPBS:

"This initiative gives San Diego State land upon which they can grow. And when that occurs, that is going to educate our population and increase our economy because it's going to produce better jobs, higher incomes, more businesses."

Brad: OK, that's SDSU West. What's the other proposal?

Jill: Measure E, SoccerCity.

Like SDSU West, the SoccerCity plan includes a river park, retail and housing units. But its big selling point is a soccer stadium for a major league team. And the SoccerCity developers say they would buy the stadium site without using taxpayer money.

Brad: But there's no guarantee a team will come here.

Jill: Right. Here's Michael Stone, one of the biggest pro-SoccerCity voices: "But our true north in this remains the delivery of a compelling combination of economic tax benefits to the city, a long sought after river park, and creating sports and entertainment-related assets for the city we all call home."

Click here to search the inewsource San Diego campaign finance database.

Brad: So who are these people backing these competing campaigns?

Jill: This is the part where we talk about the money.

The biggest funders of the SoccerCity measure are with FS Investors, a private investment company. Michael Stone, the president, has donated almost $3 million, and Nick Stone, a partner at FS Investors, has donated more than $250,000.

Brad: Are the Stones related?

Jill: Nope.

Brad: Are they the Stone Brewing beer guys?

Jill: Nope.

Brad: Well, what the ...

Jill: But they've donated more than 40 percent of all the $7.4 million that the SoccerCity campaign has raised. So Measure E's funding is coming from a few, wealthy donors.

Brad: OK. What about SDSU West?

Jill: That campaign has raised $2.4 million. Its biggest donors include former San Diego City Manager Jack McGrory and Fred Luddy, a billionaire who runs a software company. They each gave at least $150,000.

Brad: It sounds like the donors to SDSU West aren't giving as much money as the SoccerCity donors are.

Jill: Yeah, but there are more of them. A lot of them have local business interests or are developers, like Evans Hotels and Corky McMillin CEO Mark McMillin.

And there's a third campaign.

Brad: No!

Jill: Yes! This is a campaign specifically opposing the SoccerCity plan. It's funded by two big housing developers that own land in Mission Valley: H.G. Fenton and Sudberry Properties. They've raised $4 million.

Brad: To be transparent, SDSU West supporters McGrory and Evans Hotels support both inewsource and KPBS. Thomas Sudberry is also an inewsource supporter.

Jill: If you want to know more about these or any of the propositions we're talking about this week, go to inewsource.org or find these episodes on iTunes .

Brad: Catch us Wednesday when we talk about a ballot measure that could dramatically change county elections.

********

See anything interesting? Share it with us through our Facebook or Twitter accounts.

********
inewsource is an independent, investigative journalism nonprofit supported by foundations, philanthropists and viewers like you.

********

Read additional stories on the inewsource.org website.



  • inewsourceMore>>

  • CBS 8 and inewsource partner to present investigative stories

    CBS 8 and inewsource partner to present investigative stories

    CBS 8 and inewsource are working together to share investigative stories that matter to San Diego.

     

    CBS 8 and inewsource are working together to share investigative stories that matter to San Diego.

     
  • Security lapses found at San Diego shipyards despite Navy rules

    Security lapses found at San Diego shipyards despite Navy rules

    Wednesday, December 12 2018 6:39 PM EST2018-12-12 23:39:20 GMT
    Wednesday, December 12 2018 7:12 PM EST2018-12-13 00:12:26 GMT

    The private shipyards in San Diego responsible for protecting Navy warships have not been following security protocols meant to protect those billion-dollar assets, and the Navy was alerted to the lapses more than two years ago, an inewsource investigation has found.

     

    The private shipyards in San Diego responsible for protecting Navy warships have not been following security protocols meant to protect those billion-dollar assets, and the Navy was alerted to the lapses more than two years ago, an inewsource investigation has found.

     
  • Whistleblowers allege human research violations at San Diego VA

    Whistleblowers allege human research violations at San Diego VA

    Tuesday, November 20 2018 2:37 PM EST2018-11-20 19:37:31 GMT
    Tuesday, November 20 2018 5:56 PM EST2018-11-20 22:56:38 GMT

    Two whistleblowers say dangerous medical research was performed on veterans suffering from alcoholism and liver disease at the VA San Diego Healthcare System, which serves the nearly quarter-million veterans in San Diego and Imperial counties, and has one of the largest research programs in the national VA network.

     

    Two whistleblowers say dangerous medical research was performed on veterans suffering from alcoholism and liver disease at the VA San Diego Healthcare System, which serves the nearly quarter-million veterans in San Diego and Imperial counties, and has one of the largest research programs in the national VA network.

     
  • Plan to revive San Diego fishing industry agreed upon by fishermen, developer

    Plan to revive San Diego fishing industry agreed upon by fishermen, developer

    Wednesday, October 24 2018 3:31 PM EDT2018-10-24 19:31:40 GMT
    Wednesday, October 24 2018 5:32 PM EDT2018-10-24 21:32:04 GMT

    After years of negotiations, San Diego’s fishermen and a local developer have signed an agreement to recapture a lost piece of the city’s history – a thriving commercial fishing trade that once employed thousands of people while netting hundreds of millions of dollars.

     

    After years of negotiations, San Diego’s fishermen and a local developer have signed an agreement to recapture a lost piece of the city’s history – a thriving commercial fishing trade that once employed thousands of people while netting hundreds of millions of dollars.

     
  • San Ysidro School District spent $276,000 on after-school program that never happened

    San Ysidro School District spent $276,000 on after-school program that never happened

    Wednesday, October 17 2018 7:43 PM EDT2018-10-17 23:43:04 GMT
    Thursday, October 18 2018 9:47 AM EDT2018-10-18 13:47:17 GMT

    A San Diego woman with connections to former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford sold the San Ysidro School District on spending $276,000 upfront for an after-school program in 2016. The problem? It never happened.

     

    A San Diego woman with connections to former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and philanthropist T. Denny Sanford sold the San Ysidro School District on spending $276,000 upfront for an after-school program in 2016. The problem? It never happened.

     
  • Republican Party not spending as much as Democratic Party in San Diego County races

    Republican Party not spending as much as Democratic Party in San Diego County races

    Monday, October 15 2018 7:47 PM EDT2018-10-15 23:47:04 GMT
    Monday, October 15 2018 8:10 PM EDT2018-10-16 00:10:14 GMT

    The San Diego County Democratic Party isn't just hoping to win a lot of seats in the upcoming election - it's spending a lot of money to make that happen.

     

    The San Diego County Democratic Party isn't just hoping to win a lot of seats in the upcoming election - it's spending a lot of money to make that happen.

     
  • Follow The Money: The measure for San Diego government transparency

    Follow The Money: The measure for San Diego government transparency

    Friday, October 12 2018 7:19 PM EDT2018-10-12 23:19:13 GMT
    Friday, October 12 2018 7:40 PM EDT2018-10-12 23:40:45 GMT

    This is the fifth of a five-part Follow The Money series by inewsource reporters Jill Castellano and Brad Racino, leading up to the Nov. 6 election. In this final installment, they look at Measure J, which would change the city of San Diego's charter and require companies doing business with the city to disclose all the people associated with the transaction.

     

    This is the fifth of a five-part Follow The Money series by inewsource reporters Jill Castellano and Brad Racino, leading up to the Nov. 6 election. In this final installment, they look at Measure J, which would change the city of San Diego's charter and require companies doing business with the city to disclose all the people associated with the transaction.

     
  • Follow The Money: The campaign for San Diego Unified’s $3.5 billion bond

    Follow The Money: The campaign for San Diego Unified’s $3.5 billion bond

    Thursday, October 11 2018 6:05 PM EDT2018-10-11 22:05:28 GMT
    Thursday, October 11 2018 7:24 PM EDT2018-10-11 23:24:36 GMT

    This is the fourth of a five-part Follow The Money series by inewsource reporters Jill Castellano and Brad Racino, leading up to the Nov. 6 election. In this installment, they look at Measure YY, the San Diego Unified School District's $3.5 billion proposed bond measure.

     

    This is the fourth of a five-part Follow The Money series by inewsource reporters Jill Castellano and Brad Racino, leading up to the Nov. 6 election. In this installment, they look at Measure YY, the San Diego Unified School District's $3.5 billion proposed bond measure.

     
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KFMB-TV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.