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HomeTownSD adds ASM Global in new San Diego arena bid

With three development teams still in the running to land approval for a new San Diego arenaASM Global is back in the game after announcing a new partnership with the HomeTownSD effort.

ASM Global, which currently manages Pechanga Arena, has been deeply involved in efforts to land rights to a new San Diego arena, first partnering with real-estate giant Brookfield that was initially approved by the city, only to be rejected by the state as it lacked sufficient affordable housing. That partnership stood when bids were reopened, only to be rejected when the field trimmed to three finalists.

Now ASM Global has joined forces with HomeTownSD, who along with Midway Rising and Midway Village+remains in contention to land rights to redevelop the 48-acre Pechanga Arena site. Not a surprise: every heavyweight in the venue world is participating in one of the three groups.

“We evaluated the three proposals in contention and determined HomeTownSD to be the most visionary and viable arena plan and their team the most capable of delivering,” said Ron Bension, President and CEO, ASM Global, via press release. “It is not easy to finance a world-class arena and ensure its continued operation over the long term. HomeTownSD has crafted a plan that prioritizes financial viability as well as market and community fit—all essential to successfully turning arena plans into reality.”

“With the addition of ASM Global, HomeTownSD is the only team with a partner who has operated, capitalized, developed and delivered multiple successful world-class arenas,” said Chuck Steedman, longtime ASM Global Executive Vice President of Strategy and Development serving as HomeTownSD consultant, via press release. “Other teams simply have never done this.”

Also part of the HomeTownSD team: lead arena developer and local firm JMI Sports, which developed two local notable sports and entertainment venues–Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres, and Snapdragon Stadium, opening this fall as home to San Diego State University football.

“We are thrilled to bring ASM Global on board,” said Erik Judson, CEO, JMI Sports, via press release. “They bring unparalleled venue management and event production experience – with proven success in the San Diego market. We are proud to be the only team to secure an arena operating and investment partner of this caliber.”

The HomeTownSD bid calls for a new 10,000-capacity sports and entertainment arena, over 300,000 square feet of commercial space geared toward local entrepreneurs and small businesses, a multi-use building designed for office space and a 300-key hotel. Overall, the plan as it stands is planned to contain 3,250 residential units, with 1,726 of those units reserved for affordable housing (as defined by those making 80 percent or less of the area median income). That’s second to the Midway Rising bid, which calls for 2,000 affordable housing units out of a total of 4,000 units. The Midway Rising bid also calls for a larger 15,000-capacity arena designed by Safdie Rabines Architecture.

Consultants are now evaluating the three proposals. A decision is expected from the San Diego City Council in December.

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