- What is happening at the San Diego Sports Arena?
On Tuesday, September 13, 2022, the San Diego City Council formally selected Midway Rising to pursue the redevelopment of the San Diego Sports Arena site. Negotiations between Midway Rising and the City of San Diego will occur during the following two years and will conclude with a long-term lease. During this negotiation period, our team will work with City staff to acquire all necessary building, construction and site development permits while a CEQA Environmental Impact Report is prepared, with an anticipated construction groundbreaking in 2025. If a long-term lease agreement is not reached, the City maintains the flexibility to enter negotiations with an alternate Sports Arena redevelopment team or to assess other options.
- Who is part of the Midway Rising redevelopment team?
Midway Rising is comprised of affordable housing developer Chelsea Investment Corporation, sports venue developer and operator Legends and market-rate housing developer Zephyr.
- What is included in Midway Rising’s redevelopment plans?
Midway Rising is proud to offer a vision for the Sports Arena that is bold and is consistent with the Midway-Pacific Highway Community Plan. Our proposal prioritizes the construction of 2,000 urgently needed affordable homes for hard working San Diego families making between 30-80% Area Median Income (AMI), as prioritized by the state’s Surplus Land Act. Affordable units will be made available to families, seniors, those with disabilities, veterans and unsheltered individuals.
- 4,250 housing units
- 2,000 affordable units (30-80% AMI)
- 250 middle-income units (80-120% AMI)
- 2,000 market-rate units
- A modern 16,000-seat Sports Arena
- A multi-acre central urban park
- A 200-room hotel and mixed-use entertainment, arts and cultural district
Our proposal is a balanced approach that will create an inclusive, healthy and economically vibrant community for all of San Diego.
- Will on-site amenities such as childcare or healthcare be part of this project?
Yes! Midway Rising’s Community Benefits Framework is a guiding blueprint to address the essential needs of residents, neighbors and the greater San Diego region. Critically needed childcare, after school care and healthcare facilities will be integrated into the project to support the overall health and wellbeing of residential families, workers and the surrounding local community.
- How will parking work at the Sports Arena with new residential units being built?
2,775 parking spaces will be available for Sports Arena visitors in two above-ground parking structures – there will be no below-ground parking anywhere on-site. In addition to these parking spaces dedicated to the arena and entertainment district, residential housing will be parked separately in accordance with City requirements.
- Won’t this project make traffic congestion worse?
Our plans include building a new mobility hub on the south side of the site, adjacent to Sports Arena Boulevard, to accommodate multimodal forms of transportation and ride sharing apps, such as Uber and Lyft. In addition, a regional transportation study will be commissioned by the Midway Rising team to explore transit and connectivity solutions, which can be implemented through collaboration with the City and regional transportation planning agency partners.
- How is the project being funded?
Midway Rising’s financing strategy for affordable housing includes Low-Income Housing Tax Credits as the key financing source, paired with various other federal, state and local housing funds, along with private debt financing. From the City, our team will request tax-exemptions for middle income housing, a property tax increment commitment for an Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District (a type of Tax Increment Financing district that cities and counties can form to help fund economic development projects), City ownership of park space and project-based housing vouchers from the San Diego Housing Commission. Based on our financial planning and analysis, the revenues generated from the new Sports Arena, commercial development and market-rate housing supports our position to offer private financing for this project and limiting the need for public subsidy.
- What are your plans for the arena? Are you bringing a professional sports team to San Diego?
Our plans call for a modern, state-of-the-art 16,000-seat arena as the anchor for a new entertainment district that would be open 365 days a year for all San Diegans. Legends has a long-track record of delivering dynamic and vibrant mixed-use districts, such as SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles and The Star District in Frisco, and we believe San Diego will be the best yet.
At this time, there are no plans to incorporate a professional sports franchise as part of our project; however, the modernized arena will be a flexible, multipurpose venue, capable of accommodating a variety of national events such as the NCAA regional basketball or hockey tournaments, combat sports such as the UFC or Professional Fighters League, and other exciting opportunities like the Academy of Country Music Awards, which is coming next year to The Star District in Frisco, Texas.
- What does the overall project timeline look like?
Negotiations between Midway Rising and the City of San Diego will occur during a two-year period between 2022 and 2024. During this phase, Midway Rising will work with City staff to acquire all necessary building, construction and site development permits while a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is prepared. Following the exclusive negotiation period, the City Council may consider a long-term lease with Midway Rising, with potential construction breaking ground in 2025.
- Where can I receive more information?
For more information, please visit these City of San Diego websites:
San Diego Sports Arena Redevelopment