Plans unveiled to bring MLS team to San Diego

Posted: 27/01/2017 in MLS, Sports
Tags: , , ,
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The void left by the San Diego Chargers could soon be (partially) filled with the arrival of Major League Soccer.

On Monday, private investors revealed plans to bring an MLS team to San Diego with hopes of developing a new stadium which would likely be shared with San Diego State.

Plans to bring soccer to the area were announced shortly after the Chargers confirmed they were moving to Los Angeles after over 50 years in San Diego.

However, Nick Stone, a member of the investors group, looks at the NFL team’s departure as an opportunity to introduce the world’s most popular sport to the area.

“There are a lot of people that were disappointed with that (the Chargers’ move) and understandably so,” Stone said, according to The Associated Press. “But we think this is a really, really interesting time to look at the opportunity to bring soccer to San Diego. It’s a very logical market for that.

“We can bring what is the world’s most popular sport, and the fastest growing sport in the U.S.,” Stone said. “One door closed but a really great door opened.”

(Courtesy: NBC 7)

The investors, who will look to obtain city council approval first, will have until Jan. 31 to submit an application for an MLS franchise.

According to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union Tribune, attempts to bring the team to San Diego and constructing a joint-use soccer venue, which is expected to seat up to 30,000, will cost the investors group $500 million.

He adds that part of the proposal could see the venue expand in capacity to accommodate a possible bid to bring an NFL team back to the city.

The proposal, which doesn’t call for the use of taxpayer money, would lead to the demolition of Qualcomm Stadium – the former home of the Chargers and current site where San Diego State is contractually obligated to play until 2020 – and purchase of the surrounding land around the current building before construction of the new stadium begins.

“This is an exciting concept that could welcome Major League Soccer to San Diego without public subsidy, provide a home for Aztecs football and create a long-awaited river park,” San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer said. “I look forward to seeing the final plan.”

If all goes to plan, San Diego should have a soccer team by the 2020 season.

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