San Diego's sports arena redevelopment project has gained a significant investor in the form of American billionaire Stan Kroenke, who has become the lead investor and a limited partner of the Midway Rising team. The project aims to transform the 48.5-acre San Diego Sports Arena site into a modern sports and entertainment destination.
As part of the redevelopment plans, Midway Rising intends to construct a state-of-the-art 16,000-seater arena, along with 4,250 residential units, a 200-room hotel, and 20 acres of park and plaza space. The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Kroenke's company, The Kroenke Group (TKG), now holds a 90% ownership interest in the project. This stake is expected to increase to 95% once construction on the project commences.
While housing developer Zephyr and specialist agency Legends remain as general partners with a five percent stake each, their shares are set to halve further once construction begins. Chelsea, a house building firm, remains a partner in the project but does not hold an ownership stake. The limited partner and general partners are reportedly set to share 75% of the project's proceeds based on their ownership interests after capital investments are recouped. Zephyr and Legends will split the remaining 25% of project proceeds.
Stan Kroenke is renowned for his ownership of various sports teams, including Premier League club Arsenal, the NBA's Denver Nuggets (recently crowned champions), and the NFL's Los Angeles Rams. His companies operate prominent stadiums such as Emirates Stadium (home to Arsenal) and SoFi Stadium (home to the Rams). However, Kroenke's relocation of the Rams from San Diego to Los Angeles has sparked controversy in the past.
San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria expressed enthusiasm about Kroenke's investment, stating, "That someone of this calibre is willing to make this investment in partnership with the team that we selected... it makes it more likely [that the project] will come to pass, to not only provide the world-class venue that we want but also the housing that we desperately need."
While discussions about relocating a professional basketball or hockey team to the new arena are not currently underway, Brad Termini, CEO of Zephyr, confirmed that possibility. Mayor Gloria hinted at the potential presence of a franchise, considering Kroenke's sporting connections and expertise in managing major projects.
The partnership with Stan Kroenke adds significant momentum to the San Diego sports arena project, increasing its prospects for success and solidifying the city's ambitions to deliver a top-tier venue while addressing the local housing needs. The project's next steps will be closely watched as San Diego looks forward to potential sports franchises gracing its revitalized sports and entertainment hub.