Seize control of that stadium land

The “Friends of SDSU opposing SoccerCity” make their presence known

Kit Sickels, Jack McGrory, Jack Goodall
  • Kit Sickels, Jack McGrory, Jack Goodall

Wealthy ex–city manager Jack McGrory, who has emerged as a key foe of the SoccerCity plan to privatize the city-owned land now occupied by Qualcomm Stadium, has put some money into the battle, kicking in $5000 for a political committee known as Friends of SDSU opposing SoccerCity.

Onetime Jack in the Box mogul Jack Goodall of Rancho Santa Fe and La Jolla developer Kit Sickels, like McGrory boosters of San Diego State, each came up with the same. The group spent a total of $26,459 during the first half of the year, including $17,164 on a full-page Union-Tribune June 18 layout attacking SoccerCity as “nothing more than a land grab” and its sponsors as “land developers seeking vast profits today.”

McGrory has denied accusations by SoccerCity advocates that he was in cahoots with ex-U-T publisher Doug Manchester, trying to get ahold of the public land for themselves. With a public vote now set for November of next year on whether to proceed with SoccerCity, SDSU last week rolled out its own scheme to seize control of the stadium land’s destiny.

Meanwhile, the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Jobs PAC went on a polling binge during the first half of the year, a July 26 disclosure shows, spending $36,000 on the services of Competitive Edge Research & Communication, the outfit run by John Nienstedt, who announced last November he was moving his call center and 75 local jobs to El Paso, Texas, because of government-mandated minimum-wage hikes. No word on the questions that were asked in the survey, which was paid for by $37,000 transferred from the chamber’s main political action committee. The Infrastructure PAC of the Associated General Contractors tossed $5000 into the kitty, as did the Sycuan casino–owning band of the Kumeyaay Nation.

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If Jack McGrory is involved hang on to your wallets.

San Diegans need to be very skeptical of anything that those three propose. If Soccer City is/was a land grab, theirs is one, too. Oh, they are allies of SDSU, or so they proclaim. But so far SDSU seems ambivalent at best about any of the proposals. SDSU would love to get the entire property, free of course, and develop it for anything and everything. Coughing up $5K apiece is really just pocket change for the three. Let's see how much they are willing to spend to influence the reuse of the land in total, and then we will understand just how much they hope to benefit. They're not doing this out of charitable impulses, not those sharks.

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