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.