But Are Leagues Interested in San Diego.
San Diego voters said yes to a referendum that could pave the way for a new San Diego arena. A new law will allow structures to be over 30 feet in height in the Midway District. In 1972, San Diego decided to limit development near the city’s coast line by not allowing structures over 30 feet in height. There are people who are pushing to do something about replacing the city’s 54-year-old arena and envision a Midway District building. San Diego has a problem. The National Basketball Association is not interested in returning to a city that did not work for them twice and the National Hockey League is probably not going to be adding any teams. Additionally, the NHL would not be very interested in San Diego because the city does not have a large corporate community. But owners need money because of the COVID-19 pandemic which has limited revenue, so league expansion could be on the table.
Former Major League Baseball San Diego Padres owner John Moores is involved with one of the two groups that is interested in building an arena. Moores did get a stadium built for his Padres that opened in 2004. Moores does come with some baggage. In 2000, Moores began planning a Fourth of July 2002 Padres stadium opening but the city of San Diego stopped selling bonds to fund a stadium and urban development project because of a federal investigation of city councilwoman Valerie Stallings and her financial relationship with Moores. In 2001, Stallings pled guilty in a California court to two misdemeanors for failing to report gifts from Moores and not disqualifying herself from votes related to the stadium and urban development project. Stallings resigned and paid a $10,000 fine. Moores’ project was completed. The arena project has started.