San Diego appoints Brookfield, ASM for new arena project

The City of San Diego has selected real estate company Brookfield Properties and venue management and services firm ASM Global to develop a multi-use district that will be anchored by a new sports arena.

The project will see Pechanga Arena, which first opened in 1966, replaced by the new venue, which will be accompanied by a mix of entertainment, housing, parks, and office and retail.

The announcement comes after a selection committee reviewed and scored two responsive bids to a Request for Proposals (RFP) that was issued in February. Scoring categories consisted of responsiveness, a vetting of financial models, developer experience, development economics and feasibility, and community feedback.

The rival proposal came from a development team led by Toll Brothers Housing. That project envisioned the development of an ampitheatre, a new stadium for United Soccer League (USL) club San Diego Loyal and a large public park.

San Diego Mayor, Kevin Faulconer, said: “San Diego has assembled an extraordinary team with a proven track record to transform the San Diego Sports Arena. Our collective goal is to pursue a brand new sports arena that is surrounded by a thriving community that is second to none.

“A redevelopment like this is a once in a generation opportunity, and I’m confident that ASM and Brookfield’s international experience will breathe new life into this area, and create a Sports Arena district that makes San Diego proud.”

The redevelopment area encompasses approximately 48 acres in the Midway-Pacific Highway Community area, located in west-central San Diego. The pairing of Brookfield Properties and ASM Global represents a partnership that combines global resources and expertise with more than 40 years of doing business in San Diego. Indeed, ASM is the operator of Pechanga Arena.

Brookfield and ASM have said their vision could generate approximately 3,200 jobs and an annual economic impact of more than $300m (£224.9m/€253m). Zach Adams, vice-president of development at Brookfield Properties, stated: “Our team has a long local history in San Diego, and an excellent track record building and managing sports arenas and mixed-use districts around the world.

“We are excited about leading a collaborative conversation with the community, and we plan to form a community advisory panel to help shape the project and provide ongoing input to our team.”

Chuck Steedman, executive vice-president of strategy and business development at ASM Global, added: “Everyone who lives locally has an individual experience at the Sports Arena, making public engagement so important as we craft the future of this site.

“The future of the Sports Arena site is bright as we are committed to creating a world-class destination by delivering an exceptional mixed-use development and working towards a collective goal of building a new Sports Arena.”

The City, ASM Global and Brookfield Properties will now begin negotiations on the final scope of development for the area. The deal is anticipated to be brought before City Council in 2021.

Image: Brookfield Properties