Pechanga Arena / Photo by Megan Wood

The city of San Diego has decided the Sports Arena be demolished and a new arena should arise.

And the three bidders who want to take over the redevelopment of that spot want to build a new one. The lead bidder, Midway Rising, wants to make a big new arena — but not big enough for the NHL or NBA. Such arenas require about 18,000 seats minimum.

And an important caveat with this project is the city’s decision not to subsidize the project.

And as VOSD podcast host Scott Lewis found in his new story, bidders decided the way to pay for the crazy expense of such a project is not sports. It’s concerts.

Enter: The San Diego Rock arena?!

This week on the show, Lewis also takes you on a journey through the mind of co-host Andrew Keatts with some updates on stories we’ve been following.

Not unrelated: To build any project worthy of such a cool name, it’s gotta be taller than 30 feet. San Diego voters will get the chance (again) to vote on the height limit for the Midway District and clear the way for taller, denser projects in the area.

One group aiming to kill that November ballot measure is the conservative construction group, Associated General Contractors. And they’re causing quite a stir even in the infancy of their “how about nah” campaign.

Also on the pod this week, Lewis and Keatts discuss AGC’s “no on everything” approach — which aims to squash three measures we’ll see on the November ballot: height limit, project labor agreements (specifically a measure to keep the city from requiring a project labor agreement for public work projects) and an update to the city’s trash pickup fees. This effort has put them at direct odds with the San Diego City Council’s sole conservative, Councilmember Chris Cate.

Hear all that good political chisme and some good ol’ Padres talk in this week’s show. Hit that button and let’s get to it.

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Nate John

Nate John is the digital manager at Voice of San Diego. He oversees Voice's website, newsletters, podcasts and product team. You can reach him at

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