The Politics of Soccer in San Diego

Seattle Seahawks v San Diego Chargers

The latest twist in the Soccer City saga has some heads at City Hall and around town spinning.  The saga involves lots of politics and has from its start, on all sides. 

It now looks like the Democrats on the San Diego City Council are trying to do an end run, or whatever you call that in the game of soccer, around the developers behind the plan for a four billion dollar mixed use development at the site of the former home of the Chargers.

That's because that by declaring the stadium site, now vacated by the Chargers, as surplus property, a state law would require the city to offer other government bodies the chance to present proposals for the property.

And according to longtime former city attorney Jan Goldsmith that would mean big trouble for the citizen’s initiative now set for November of 2018 at which time voters will decide whether the Soccer City project becomes a reality.  

And the former city attorney says that because state law supersedes a citizen’s initiative, voters may never have a chance to decide what happens to the Soccer City plan.

If the city council were to declare the stadium site surplus property and open up the process, the Mayor would probably veto it, since he’s a strong supporter of the Soccer City plan.  And then the five Democrats in the council would have to convince one of the Republicans to override the veto, not an easy thing to do.

So while the Soccer City saga appears to be about getting a top level soccer franchise for San Diego, the game being played may be more about politics.

(Photo credit Getty Images)

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