Another sign that the investors are serious: Area soccer fans were polled on their feelings about a potential San Diego MLS stadium to be shared with the San Diego State University football program.
A lot of things would need to happen before we see MLS soccer in San Diego: the San Diego Chargers would need to resolve their stadium situation, either with a move to a new downtown facility or to Los Angeles, freeing up the current Qualcomm Stadium site for an expansion of the SDSU campus. This new 166-acre development could include a 40,000-seat stadium for the Aztecs and an expansion MLS team.
We already have a potential ownership group in the works — perhaps the most important criteria for MLS leaders as they evaluate expansion down the road. Peter Seidler, an owner of the MLB San Diego Padres, is one of three prominent San Diegans who have expressed interest in owning a San Diego MLS team if a new stadium is built in the Mission Valley area. He’s being joined in this effort by Steve Altman, who retired as a Qualcomm executive, and Mike Stone of FS Investors.
The survey was sent both to SDSU football supporters and soccer fans in the region. From the San Diego Union-Tribune:
“This is a chance to really look into the Mission Valley area and see if it’s a good fit and whether our fans think that’s a good place for them to come cheer for our student-athletes,” [Jenny Bramer, SDSU’s interim director of athletics] said by phone on Friday. “We ask a series of questions (in the survey). We sent it out to this huge group of people, 18,000, in hopes of really getting a better idea of what matters to them.
“Is it where they sit? Is it how the stadium looks? What kind of expenses they’re willing to spend to have a great seat, so that if we pursue this option we can do it in a way that is very fan-friendly.”
A new downtown Chargers stadium ballot measure will go before San Diego voters in two months, but Bramer said the timing of the SDSU survey did not have anything to do with the issue.
“I don’t know that we’re focused on them because that’s outside of our control,” Bramer said. “We’re doing the survey now because that’s something that’s within our control. In order to move forward with the process, we have to pursue our side of it.”
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