San Diego Arena Redevelopment Plan Won’t Get An NBA Or NHL Franchise

The city wants to redevelop the Midway area.

It appears highly unlikely that San Diego is going to get any consideration as an expansion or relocation site from the National Basketball Association or the National Hockey League based on the three finalists that were chosen by the San Diego City Council to bid on redeveloping a 48-acre piece of property that houses the city’s present arena. Midway Rising, Hometown SD, and Midway Village+ are more concerned with building affordable housing than a state-of-the-art indoor arena. The Midway Rising proposal comes closest to what an NBA or NHL franchise would need from an arena as Midway Rising would build a 16,000-seat facility as well as a 200-room hotel and additional retail and commercial space. The smallest NBA seating capacity is in New Orleans with that arena’s seating capacity at 16,857. The smallest NHL seating capacity is in Winnipeg with just 15,015 seats. Arizona will be temporarily playing its NHL games at Arizona State University’s 5,000-seat arena. Generally, there are about 1,500 fewer seats in a hockey set up compared to a basketball set up. Luxury boxes or suites could make up financial differences in a smaller arena.

Midway Village+ plans include a 15,000-seat indoor arena, a 3,500-seat event center and a soccer stadium. The Midway Village+ indoor arena is too small for the NBA and NHL. Hometown SD is not even considering an NBA or NHL franchise as the new arena could host just 8,000 fans for hockey and lacrosse games. It could hold 10,000 concertgoers for big shows and up to 12,500 people for special events. The NBA is not interested in returning to a city that did not work for them twice and the NHL is probably not going to be adding any teams.

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