A developer wants to build a gigantic sports and entertainment complex on Chula Vista’s Bayfront. It would be built across the marina from the Gaylord Pacific Resort and Convention Center which is already under construction.
Frederick McDonald pitched his idea to the Chula Vista City Council Tuesday night. According to a rendering of the development, it would include retail, a hotel, a dock-and-dine, an aquatic athletic center, youth sports fields, tech offices, and a sport entertainment complex in the middle of it all.
McDonald refused to call the large circular object in the middle of his proposed complex a “stadium” or an “arena.” He said Tuesday’s presentation was merely a “roll out of a concept” and everything is far from set in stone.
Four of the five Chula Vista City Councilmembers expressed excitement and support for pursuing the development, which would be built primarily on Port of San Diego property where the old South Bay Power Plant used to stand along the southern end of the Chula Vista Bayfront Master Plan. Councilman Steve Padilla was absent.
A spokeswoman for the Port of San Diego said in a statement, “We are aware of a potential proposal that may be coming to the Port of San Diego from a team that would like to build a mixed-use development to include an entertainment/sports complex on the Chula Vista Bayfront within the Port’s jurisdiction. As we have not received any formal proposal to date, are not involved in the presentation to Chula Vista City Council, and do not represent this potential project, we do not have any further details and cannot comment any further at this time.”
Last month, ground was broken, and construction began on Gaylord Pacific. The $1.35 billion resort hotel will include 1,600 hotel rooms, a convention center, ballroom space, restaurants, a sports bar and a lazy river. It is the anchor for the Bayfront Master Plan, the largest development on the West Coast. New Gaylord Hotels near Washington, D.C. and Denver spurred incredible growth nearby as other developers looked to capitalize on the popularity of the resorts.
In 2007, the San Diego Chargers flirted with the idea of building a new NFL-caliber stadium in the same spot before plans for another Gaylord hotel collapsed. Chargers special counsel Mark Fabiani said at the time, losing Gaylord on the Bayfront was a blow to the team’s plans.
In July, RIDA Development and Gaylord Hotels began construction on Gaylord Pacific, which is expected to open in 2025.