San Diego MLS expansion bid seeks stadium on current Qualcomm site

San Diego waterfront

A group looking to bring MLS to San Diego would build a new stadium where the NFL's Chargers used to play before they relocated to Los Angeles this offseason, according to a press conference detailing their plans on Monday.

The investment group formed by former Qualcomm vice chairman Steve Altman and FS Investors founder Mike Stone have put together a proposal to bring MLS to the city and build a new multi-purpose stadium where Qualcomm Stadium – the Chargers' former home – now stands. 

The presentation comes eight days ahead of the Jan. 31 deadline for cities wishing to apply for the next rounds of MLS expansion.

The proposed 40,000-seat, privately-financed, $200-million stadium would be shared between an MLS club and the San Diego State University football team as part of a $1 billion development that would include a residential, shopping and entertainment district.

"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 in a statement. “I look forward to seeing the final plan."‬

MLS Commissioner Don Garber previously met with Mayor Faulconer about the possibility of expanding to San Diego, where the US national team will play Serbia in a friendly on Sunday (4 pm ET on ESPN2, UniMas and UDN).

“We have spent a lot of time down there,” Garber said earlier this month, after the first round of the MLS SuperDraft in Los Angeles. “There is a very good group that’s come together. We know the investor prospects well. I’ve been there quietly probably two or three times. I’ll be down there for the [US national team] game. I think it would be a great MLS city."

St. Louis – which lost the NFL's Rams to Los Angeles before this season – is also pushing for an MLS expansion team. The list of hopefuls also includes Sacramento, Detroit, the Tampa-St. Petersburg area, Cincinnati, San Antonio, Nashville, and two competing bids from North Carolina – Charlotte and the Raleigh-Durham area.