An investor group that wants to bring an MLS team to San Diego shared an artistic rendering on Monday morning of the ambitious plan to draw professional soccer to the region.
The San Diego-based investment group, led by FS Investors founder Mike Stone and former Qualcomm Vice Chairman Steve Altman, wants to purchase the 166-acre land that’s currently Qualcomm Stadium and transform it into a sports and entertainment center.
The mixed-used center would also include about 800 apartments and a 55-acre river park, under plans being discussed.
"The intent is to make this into an area where people can touch and feel the river and that will act as one of the key components of what draws people to the site," said Nick Stone, one of the investors.
The investors said the plan would not require taxpayer money; they are in discussions with San Diego State University to create a joint stadium for MLS and the Aztecs.
A lot would need to happen before this plan could come to fruition. At a news conference on Monday, the investors said they want to purchase the land from the city of San Diego and gather 125,000 signatures to bypass the requirement for a public vote.
The cost of the stadium is $200 million and San Diego State is being asked to pay for half.
A San Diego State spokesperson said there were still plenty of factors to consider before committing to the proposal.
The catch on this lofty plan: The city of San Diego would have to adopt the MLS team plan for it to move forward, and investors don’t see it being a viable plan without city support.
The deadline to file an application with the MLS is Jan. 31, and a final decision from the soccer league on the application will come in the fall. In the meantime, the city can mull the plans.