AZTEC STADIUM

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Monday, August 17, 2020

It's Official: Construction Underway at SDSU Mission Valley

With the first shovels in the ground at the Mission Valley stadium site, the long-term vision for a campus expansion, new stadium, Innovation District, and River Park is now under construction.

By SDSU News Team


San Diego State University held a groundbreaking event this morning to celebrate the university officially taking ownership of the Mission Valley stadium site, commemorating the launch of a new era for the greater San Diego region. This is a historic time for the university and the city. SDSU Mission Valley will deliver immense benefits to the community for generations to come.

"Today marks a milestone moment for San Diego State University and the City of San Diego," said SDSU President Adela de la Torre. "With today's groundbreaking we begin the work to expand SDSU's educational, research, and entrepreneurial missions. SDSU Mission Valley also addresses the realities of the past few months and the need for new streams of revenue to support higher education opportunities for all."

As a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and as the stadium site is now an active construction site, the event was not open to the general public. Instead, the number of in-person speakers and invited guests was restricted to maintain full compliance with the county's public health guidelines. Prior to the groundbreaking event, SDSU organizers consulted closely with the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency to ensure said guidelines were observed.

In the best interest of individual safety, health, and well-being, SDSU invited the campus and San Diego communities to virtually participate in the milestone occasion via livestream.

Tom McCarron, SDSU's senior vice president for SDSU Mission Valley, kicked off the event expressing his gratitude. He acknowledged the collective years-long efforts of all those involved in the project, from conception to realization for their critical and steadfast support.

"This is truly a momentous day in the history of our university and the city of San Diego," McCarron said. "Today we celebrate the commencement of construction of SDSU Mission Valley, Aztec Stadium, and the River Park."

In addition to the significant land development, the project will be transformational for the community. SDSU Mission Valley is projected to expand the university's economic impact in the region by $3 billion annually.

"What happens on the ground right here, beneath our feet will elevate San Diego State and elevate San Diego in ways that we can't possibly imagine," said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. "San Diegans should take great satisfaction in knowing that the future of this land is finally set as a place where education, athletics, and the community will thrive side by side for generations to come."

California State University Board of Trustees Member Jack McGrory thanked Mayor Faulconer and all those involved in the success of the project. McGrory also gave mention to the rich history of the stadium site and the bright future.

"Today is a celebration of higher education and community," McGrory said. "For 55 years we have enjoyed this fabulous place, this ocean of asphalt and concrete that is visible from outer space. Today we take the first steps in transforming this place into a center of knowledge and engagement."

Upon breaking ground, one of the first major construction projects to undergo development, in addition to the River Park, will be the highly anticipated Aztec Stadium, which is scheduled for completion in Fall 2022.

"We are building a stadium for Aztec football, international and professional soccer, concerts, and any other event you can think of," said SDSU Athletic Director John David Wicker. "A world class 35,000-capacity stadium designed to offer the amenities fans expect today. This is the most important sports and entertainment venue in San Diego since Petco Park and will be 365 days a year use for campus and our community."

SDSU Mission Valley will create new educational experiences, foster research, advance technology, facilitate internships, and provide new educational opportunities. The outcome of this expansion will allow the university to gradually increase enrollment by up to 15,000 students.

"As a student, I am excited that this project will provide more opportunities for students to attend SDSU, achieve their goals of higher education, have access to affordable and convenient housing opportunities, and contribute to a more environmental sustainable community," said Associated Students President Christian Holt.

Additional remarks were made both in-person or via video by California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees member Adam Day; San Diego City Council members Georgette Gómez and Barbara Bry; interim vice president for research, Hala Madanat; Aztec Stadium donor, Dianne Bashor; chair of The Campanile Foundation, Jerry Sanders; and alumni and long-time SDSU supporter, Nikki Clay.

The groundbreaking ceremony concluded with the participants taking part in a ceremonial first "shovel in the ground."

While this was not the groundbreaking event originally envisioned, the community was able to join together online to honor this significant achievement.

Construction will begin in earnest by Clark Construction with grading and infrastructure work, the stadium, and the River Park. Clark Construction is expected to employ an estimated 3,500 to 5,550 workers through both the stadium and site development.

Newly launched Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter channels will provide SDSU Mission Valley updates, information, and features. Please also continue visiting the SDSU Mission Valley website, as it is regularly updated.


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