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CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8 | cbs8.com

SD Loyal reveal plans, support, for soccer stadium at Midway Sport Arena site

The proposed stadium for the SD Loyal would serve as a temporary home for the first-year soccer team, which currently plays home matches at Torero Stadium.
Credit: San Diego Loyal

SAN DIEGO — San Diego Loyal SC announced Monday its proposed plan for a new stadium and asked for voter support as the city of San Diego seeks to redevelop the 48-acre Sports Arena site in the Midway neighborhood.

The proposed stadium for the SD Loyal would serve as a temporary home for the first-year soccer team, which currently plays home matches at Torero Stadium.

The plan the team has endorsed -- the Midway Sport and Entertainment District -- is one of two plans being considered. The other is the Brookfield Property Development Concept with ASM Global.

San Diegans can view the plans and provide input on the proposals until July 20.

A city selection committee will choose one of the proposals to recommend to Mayor Kevin Faulconer, whose staff will then negotiate a deal with the winning developer.

According to the Midway camp, its plan "is a community-centric vision for a vibrant mixed-use space to revitalize an aging area of San Diego. In addition to the new temporary soccer stadium, it features a music venue, housing, retail, restaurants and is anchored by a new 12-acre public park." The $125 million renovation of the arena would also include a 3,500-seat music venue and 1,500 residences.

The stadium in the Midway plan, which would be able to seat up to 15,000 fans, would break ground in 2022 if that proposal is selected. The stadium would be the home for the SD Loyal for seven to 10 years while the team works with the community to secure a permanent location in San Diego.

It would also require a 50-foot high building, which would necessitate voter approval in November to raise the Midway District's building ceiling above the 30-foot limit currently in the area.

"We are thrilled to announce our partnership with the Midway Sports and Entertainment District project and are proud to be asked to participate in such an innovative concept," said team President Warren Smith. "We want our club to continue to be a pillar in the community by creating passion for active sports and healthy living. We're looking forward to the positive impact a project like this will have on the San Diego community by making it an even better place to live, work and play."

The Brookfield proposal envisions an "environmental and more complete, sustainable San Diego community through affordability, density and transit." It includes five acres of parks and more than 2,000 "affordable" residential units but no plans for a separate soccer stadium.

"We are confident that the ASM Global team will do the right thing, developing housing opportunities at all income levels, creating high quality local construction jobs keeping development investment dollars in the community, creating community benefits and much needed jobs and apprenticeship opportunities for San Diegans, veterans and targeted residents," said Tom Lemmon, business manager of the San Diego Building and Construction Trades Council.

Development on the Midway project would occur in three phases and be completed by 2029 at no cost to San Diego taxpayers. The $1 billion project would update the existing 48-acre Sports Arena site.

"Our club cares for the growth of our San Diego community and the new district project provides a great opportunity to transform an underutilized area into a place that celebrates our passion for fun and fitness," Smith said. "Our hope is that integrating with such a mixed-use space will help grow the fan base for not only the SD Loyal team but for soccer in general. San Diego is one of the largest soccer areas, and we want to reinvigorate fan passion for the sport."

The city began seeking proposals for the Sports Arena site in February and is now urging San Diegans to participate in selecting a winning proposal later this year. 

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