No, Aztecs football is not going to be homeless


Brutalist public works structure in a verdant floodplain

My Twitter follows tend of fall into two categories: political commentators (lord help me) and San Diego State Aztecs-related accounts. Lately – amazingly – it has been the latter group that has been the source of the most breathless panic and bed wetting. A sampling:

Panic on the streets of College Area

Can we stop this now?

I think we can stop this now.

It might be hard to see amid the flurry of new details and testy statements swirling around as the war for Mission Valley heats up, but the survival of SDSU football is no longer at issue here. That was solidified yesterday with the latest dispatch from SoccerCity communications coordinator U-T columnist Kevin Acee.

Here’s a TL;DR version: No matter which way the voters decide this fall, San Diego State football isn’t going to be homeless, unless it’s by choice. A very weird choice. Under the new agreement between SoccerCity and Mayor Kevin Faulconer, SDSU has been offered the following if it agrees to the deal by December:

  • An initial stadium capacity of 33,500 (expandable to 40,000).
  • The chance to buy into 10 to 30 acres of land for its academic needs.

From an Aztecs football perspective (we are an SDSU football and basketball blog, mind you) that is an acceptable scenario. In fact, as long as San Diego State is stuck in the Mountain West conference, 33K with built-in shade and a steep gradient is fine. It would be a great place to watch a game.

However, from the perspective of a university that wants to increase its physical capacity, student enrollment by 50 percent and eventually crack the Top 50 of national research institutions, it’s … problematic. And that’s what the Mission Valley war is about now: A battle between developers and SDSU’s forward-looking academic ambitions.

You can remove Aztecs football from that equation. One way or another, the program will be taken care of. Since all the recent panic centers on where the Aztecs will play in 2019 and 2020, here are the likely scenarios:

If SoccerCity wins …
Aztecs football plays at Petco Park in 2019 and Donovan-Acee Coliseum in 2020. If the SoccerCity initiative is passed by voters in November, SDSU would almost certainly exercise their option to buy in to the plan by December 1. The alternative would be to pony up more money to build a similar stadium in a less advantageous location, be it Balboa Stadium or, I don’t know, the Santee Drive-In? That’s not a real choice.

If SoccerCity fails …
San Diego State would play at Qualcomm Stadium in 2019 and 2020, unless a new stadium is built sooner. If this does go to an RFP process, SDSU/California State University and whatever icky robber baron they partner with will have the inside track. Perhaps someone else swoops in with a better vision, but you’d think anyone who wants that land will have to include Aztecs football in their proposal. And if SDSU does get its hands on the entire site, crumbling stadium and all, the urgency of the Q getting shuttered is lessened. It stays open as long as SDSU is willing to slather Spackle over crumbling concrete and set up rat traps.

“We have expressed our willingness to take over the operational cost of Qualcomm Stadium.” – Bob Schulz, SDSU lead architect and associate vice president of real estate, two months ago.

Seriously, that’s it. Those are the scenarios. Unless I’m missing something.

So the war over Mission Valley rages on between SDSU leadership and FS Investors, and it likely will until November. But as of yesterday, this ceased to be about the survival of Aztecs football.

Let’s all step back in off the ledge.

Author: Aztecs Killing Him

Former proprietor of AztecsKillingHim dot com, a long-dead SDSU sports blog that was possibly dumber even than this one. On Twitter at @akh_blog.

3 thoughts on “No, Aztecs football is not going to be homeless”

  1. “Seriously, that’s it. Those are the scenarios. Unless I’m missing something?”

    No, but I’ll add I think SDSU’s actions could still damage the football program. It’s now obvious, SDSU is trying to tank Soccer City. The issue with that is I just don’t think most San Diegans really give two shits about Aztec football and would prefer another professional sports franchise. If SDSU succeeds in tanking the Soccer City plan, I can’t help but think there might be resentment towards Aztec football and attendance is crap already.

    1. Yeah, readily apparent by all support the only “pro” sports team in town is receiving now (Not counting the Gulls as they are a minor league affiliate). Pretty much impossible to get a seat to support them…ha! They want a small stadium for soccer because they already know nobody will support them. This is proven, that’s why the MLS refuses to build stadiums over 30 thousand seats. They don’t want their stadiums to look empty. As far as resentment toward the Aztecs, I doubt it. College football is the 3rd most popular sport in the US. Soccer isn’t even in the top 5. People will still want to watch football in this town.

      1. The Pads are terrible so attendance is down- no surprise there. The Aztecs have been good that past few seasons and attendance is, at best, “meh”. When the Aztecs hosted the MWC conference championship game a couple years back, it was the lowest attended MW championship game in conference history. People may want to watch football in this town, but it sure seems like they don’t want to watch Aztecs football. I’ll be curious to see if the Chargers departing gives attendance a lift. I suspect the answer is going to be not really. BTW, that’s more an indictment of the Mountain West than Aztec football


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