San Diego

Goal SD Will Put Qualcomm Stadium Plan on Ballot

Goal SD’s “Soccer City” proposal includes a multi-use stadium for professional soccer and college football

The local group proposing to transform San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium into a place to live, work and play soccer announced plans Tuesday to bring the proposal before voters in November.

Goal SD – including FS Investors founder Mike Stone and Goal SD partners Nick Stone, Steve Altman and Juan Carlos Rodriguez – held a news conference to announce the development.

The investors said they first intend to submit the plan to the City Council to be placed on the Nov. 7 ballot. From there, Major League Soccer (MLS) will decide whether to bring a team to San Diego.

Investors noted that they expect MLS to make a decision on expansion into the San Diego market after the end of this year -- and upon the outcome of the election.

Goal SD’s “Soccer City” proposal includes a multi-use stadium for professional soccer and college football. The 166-acre site along the San Diego River would also include a new, 55-acre community park, a sports and entertainment district with new restaurants, bars and shops, nearly 5,000 residential units, two hotels and office space. The proposal is privately funded, without taxpayer money.

Last week, the group reported they have gathered enough signatures to get the Soccer City proposal in front of the San Diego City Council for consideration. The City of San Diego requires signatures from at least 5 percent of registered voters to get to this step. The registrar must also validate those signatures for it to get to the City Council.

The project is likely to face challenges from other developers and environmental groups.

The group’s redevelopment plan for Qualcomm Stadium has generated a lot of chatter about whether San Diego – now without an NFL team – should become a soccer town.

As NBC 7’s Derek Togerson reported last week, research shows San Diego is a strong market for soccer. San Diego is one of 12 markets trying to secure a new Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise.

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