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New Arena Talks Picking up in San Diego

Proposed New San Diego Arena

Talks about a new arena in San Diego are continuing, with AEG and the Hahn family making the case for a downtown venue. 

Valley View Casino Center turns 50 years old this fall, and has served as one of San Diego’s primary indoor event venues for decades. However, given its age and size, AEG and the Hahns–including arena general manager Ernie Hahn–believe that the venue could be replaced by a more modern facility in downtown San Diego.

Talks of replacing the Valley View Casino Center are not by any means new. Earlier this year, a concept for a new arena (shown above) was pitched for San Diego’s Seaport Village section. Now AEG and the Hahns are stating a new downtown facility could help draw more events into the city. More from the San Diego Union-Tribune:

Ron Hahn, Ernie’s father and the leaseholder of the Valley View arena since 1992, said this week that his company has owned land since the late 1990s adjacent to what is now the Padres’ tailgate park. Hahn said a new arena would cost between $250 million and $300 million, and one financing possibility envisions AEG San Diego paying half while the other half is subsidized by city bonds.

“I believe it’s all going to happen. I just want it to happen in my lifetime,” the 73-year-old Hahn said with a chuckle..

“We have a pretty progressive mayor (Kevin Faulconer),” Hahn said. “He wants to make it happen. But right now the Chargers are more important than a new arena for the city.”

Bob Newman, president of Los Angeles-based AEG Facilities, declined to tie AEG’s goals with the fate of the Chargers downtown, but said, “I think as far as the future is concerned, we’re as excited about a future arena in San Diego as we are any market in the world.

Though there is a precedent for building a new arena without the guarantee of a major sports tenant, the San Diego arena would likely to be built to NBA and NHL standards. Such a venue could be a good fit for the AHL’s San Diego Gulls, who have been a success at the Valley View Casino Center.

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