San Diego Launches MLS Bid
This is KPBS Midday Edition I am Maureen Cavanaugh. It might seem like a rebound romance to some but San Diego city leaders say it is a golden opportunity. A mere two weeks after the charges announced they are moving to Los Angeles San Diego is formally asking to hook up with major league soccer. San Diego investment group actually handed its application to MLS Commissioner Dave Garber. It was at a ceremony aboard the USS Midway Museum yesterday. Mayor Kevin Faulconer and many local sycophants were in attendance. MLS. Joining me is Jordan risk the mighty 1090 and cohost of the unnamed soccer podcast. Welcome to the program. Thank you so much for having me. What's different about this discussion. If you ask officials from major league soccer they have been somewhat interested that's a lukewarm interested in San Diego for quite some time they have been waiting for a group of investors to put together a plan but if you look at the history of major league soccer they tend to appreciate the cities that have just lost a major franchise. Seattle being one of them the Seattle Supersonics the basketball team left him and quickly a major league soccer team was put in to partner with a local NFL team and they had a lot of success in Seattle and are looking to do the same thing in St. Louis and they are looking to not completely fill the void of leasing and NFL franchise but major league soccer season opportunity here in San Diego based on the region and how close it is to the border and how popular the sport is already in this region and the fact that the charges have left San Diego city needs to figure out what to do with that mission Valley site and it sounds like a group that -- includes major league soccer is interested in developing a.'s Who is defined -- behind this plan? The group is called FS investors. They include Mike Stone, Nick Stone who is unrelated and also Steve Altman who worked for QUALCOMM back in the day Steve Altman is also the a and jam center for San Diego State and this is part of the story. Not only does San Diego need to figure out what the future of mission Valley will be they also need to figure out what the future of San Diego State Athletics for the football team will be because they played at QUALCOMM Stadium the home of the San Diego Chargers formerly of the San Diego Chargers. This is a group that is now negotiated with the city and is now negotiated with San Diego State as we speak to try to figure out the best solution for all parties involved to go forward and to develop this site. The request goes hand-in-hand. What this group wants to build is at the 30,000 seat stadium that will expand up to 40,000 for San Diego State football in the northeastern section of the QUALCOMM Stadium parking lot and then surrounding that they want to add restaurant and what is being prepared to the gaslamp they want to create that mission Valley. I guess it is around 800 beds for SDSU have also put aside acreage for the River Park and mission Valley they are also putting aside a small section of the parking lot just in case an NFL team wants to return to San Diego so this plan does not rule out. The great question is how will it be sign at -- finance. It is different from everything that we have heard and this will be privately financed. There are several reasons why they want to develop the land and purchase the land that mission Valley for market value and develop it and their trying to a.this plan and they are hoping it is as adopted by summer because they will decide which cities will be awarded a franchise this fall. How much need is there for a soccer team in San Diego X Let's talk about the most recent thing. This does not impact World Cup qualifying and this is six months national team and and on Sunday here in San Diego they announced more than 20,000 and if you look back at the TV rating especially for the World Cup and they know there is already a soccer community here that has been established and you see a good opportunity here in this market. What is next in the pursuit for the soccer team for San Diego? We need to gather 72,000 signatures from registered voters in order for city Council to consider adopting the plan. They will go out to gather the signatures and what they had 72,000 it is up to city Council to either adopt the plan and move forward it and so the mission Valley land of market value and if they have not awarded this franchise the plan will be done. They only want to continue with this event MLS team is part of it in the future. Thank you I appreciate the time.
A group of investors that last week proposed building a new stadium in Mission Valley submitted an application Monday for a Major League Soccer expansion franchise in San Diego to league Commissioner Don Garber.
The 24-team MLS is entertaining bids from potential ownership groups to add new members. At a news conference, Garber said he anticipates receiving a dozen applications by Tuesday's deadline, with four to be accepted.
RELATED: Investor Group Wants To Bring MLS To San Diego
The local bid comes more than two weeks after the National Football League's Chargers announced plans to move to Los Angeles after 56 seasons in San Diego.
The official push begins for soccer in San Diego. City wants an MLS team and bids for expansion team pic.twitter.com/SFqzVYnUhB— Erik Anderson (@KPBSErik) January 30, 2017
City officials are determining how long to keep open Qualcomm Stadium, which is far too large for the MLS and the San Diego State University football team. The Aztecs have a lease through the 2018 season, and are negotiating a two-year extension to provide time to find a new home.
RELATED: San Diego State Looks To Extend Lease At Qualcomm
SDSU has been discussing options with the local MLS group, led by investor Mike Stone and Juan Carlos Rodriguez, the president of Univision Deportes. School officials have also been in touch with the Padres about making renovations that would allow football to be played at Petco Park.
At the news conference, Mayor Kevin Faulconer said the city wants to take advantage of an opportunity to remake the 166-acre Qualcomm Stadium property.
"It's an opportunity to create jobs, it's an opportunity to revitalize Mission Valley and become an economic driver that will help us pave streets, keep our neighborhoods safe and do all the things we do in this great city," Faulconer said.
The proposal for the property includes building a stadium of undetermined but smaller seating capacity, tearing down Qualcomm Stadium, creating a park along the San Diego River, and constructing residential and commercial buildings. Backers of the plan said no public money would be required.
They also said they would engage the public by collecting signatures that will be delivered to the City Council — which could either approve the project or place it before voters.
Rodriguez said there will be other ways for the public to be involved.
"We have the financial resources, but the most important thing, that we have to make sure, is that we have all San Diegans be part of the process of creating the DNA of the team," Rodriguez said. "It is very important for us that you join us in the process of finding the name, finding the logo, finding the colors, the songs and all the DNA that we're going to be creating for the team."
He said such opportunities would be available online.
Garber said San Diego checks many of the boxes for MLS expansion, including passionate fans, a young city, a new breed of owners and the stadium vision.