MLS Expansion: San Diego initiative passes first hurdle

The San Diego clerk's office certified that the group seeking to build a soccer stadium and bring an MLS team to San Diego had enough signatures to take its development initiative to the city council. FS Investors wants the measure to go to voters for a special November ballot, the latest possible date for San Diego to fit into MLS's timetable for approving the next two expansion teams.

Mayor Kevin Faulconer supports the SoccerCity development plan that calls for the construction of 32,00-seat soccer stadium in Mission Valley as part of a bigger development that includes housing, commercial space, hotel rooms and parkland. Qualcomm Stadium, the home of the departed NFL Chargers, sits on park of the site.

The petition received the 71,646 validated signatures to send the SoccerCity proposal and a proposal to expansion the San Diego convention center to the nine-member city council. The key issue for the SoccerCity proposal is the date of the ballot.

FS Investors wants the measure to go to voters for a special ballot in November, but the city council could push it back to the June 2018 primary or the November 2018 general election. The latter two dates might be too late for MLS's purposes.

The SoccerCity initiative -- dubbed "SuckerCity" by one San Diego Union-Tribune columnist -- is by no means a slam dunk despite Faulconer's support.

In an analysis of the 3,000-page initiative, San Diego city attorney Mara Elliott raised concerns about FS Investors' obligations and the city's susceptibility to potential litigation. FS Investors countered to the Union-Tribune that those issues would be addressed when a formal lease for the property were negotiated if the initiative passed.

San Diego State had been in talks with FS Investors over a possible partnership on the stadium for the football Aztecs, who play at Qualcomm Stadium, but pulled out, prompting the university to request that other plans for the development be considered.

Without Qualcomm Stadium, SDSU has no long-term home for its football team. The only other alternative is baseball stadium Petko Park, but it is not clear that it is a long-term solution for Aztec football.

The battle over Mission Valley has become a huge p.r. fight in San Diego between rival developers -- FS Investors on one hand and  H.G. Fenton Company & Sudberry Properties on the other.

4 comments about "MLS Expansion: San Diego initiative passes first hurdle".
  1. Quarterback TD, May 24, 2017 at 1:53 p.m.

    This story is getting so boring that the dead are yawning and all I do is read the headlines because it's full off fluff and redundant crap..

  2. Joey Tremone replied, May 25, 2017 at 12:49 p.m.

    Do the rest of the world a big fave and go away then. What's the point of just sitting around trolling a publication you appear to hate? What's that doing to your soul?

  3. Craig Cummings, May 25, 2017 at 8:59 p.m.

    How many people go to Aztec football games? I hope a lot more then thier soccer games. When I played them,not many students at the soccer game. But soccer is not football.

  4. Glenn Maddock, May 26, 2017 at 6:48 p.m.

    It's a fascinating battle between pro MLS people and the old school soccer haters. They've turned it into a soccer vs football battle, which soccer Is not likely to win in a major city like this. What's good, is the Soccer group has the money to build a stadium tax free. So they just need to find the land somewhere in the County and MLS will surely give them a club. There is no more attractive, open & available soccer market than San Diego.

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