San Diego’s Sports Fans Hopes For A Sea Change In The City Have Been Dashed


San Diego State University is not going to the Big 12 and a new arena is not bringing an NBA or NHL team to town.

In mid-June, it appeared that San Diego’s sports landscape was about to undergo major changes. In May, the city was handed a Major League Soccer franchise. In June, San Diego State University was on the verge of joining the Big 12 college sports conference or so the people who run the athletics department at San Diego State University thought. And the National Football League, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League and Major League Soccer owner Stan Kroenke decided to get involved with the redevelopment of the 48.5-acre San Diego Sports Arena site. There was a thought that with Kroenke being involved in building a new arena that there was a possibility that he could get an NBA or NHL team to come to San Diego through either relocation or expansion. But cold water has been thrown on the San Diego State University move to the Big 12 and the NBA or NHL setting up shop in San Diego, at least in the foreseeable future. The planned new arena in San Diego will seat only 16,000 people for an NBA game and probably about 1,500 people less for an NHL game and that is not going to cut it with either league.

In fact the Midway Rising Project Team’s spokesperson Jeff Meyer never even mentioned the NBA or NHL when assessing what events might end up in the arena. “A modern arena will allow us to attract 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. The proposed arena will be a flexible, multipurpose venue, capable of accommodating a variety of events while also providing future expansion opportunities.” The NBA has twice failed in San Diego. The league is not returning any time soon.

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