Special Report: Investor group urges support for Mission Valley soccer stadium

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Not long after the crushing news that the Chargers would be leaving, we began to hear different ideas about the fate of the city’s most valuable land asset: Qualcomm Stadium.

A concept to build a stadium for Major League Soccer has brought both pans and praise, but the group behind the proposed stadium believes it’s a good match for San Diego.

The investors who want to build a new soccer stadium in Mission Valley have their eyes on 166 acres of prime city-owned land, buying half and leasing the rest. It’s the site where Qualcomm Stadium now stands.

Nick Stone and his investment partners are proposing to build a new stadium what would be home to a Major League Soccer team and SDSU Football. The blueprint also includes other key elements. 

Related Link: Special Report: SoccerCity – Is development plan more about land than soccer?

In addition to a sports entertainment district, the investors envision officers, thousands of homes and a riverfront park. The plan will be presented as a ballot initiative, but some critics say the true goal isn’t soccer. It’s setting up a lucrative development deal.

Attorney Bob Ottilie, who’s kept a close eye on San Diego’s growth for more than 30 years, believes that San Diego would not be favored when it comes to selecting the four cities out of 12 that are vying for an MLS franchise.

California already has an MSL soccer team in Los Angeles and some say MLS won’t choose another team for southern California when Sacramento to the north is also in the running.

But Nick Stone and his partners say so far the MLS commissioner has been nothing but encouraing and in January, Commissioner Don Garber made a personal visit to San Diego to accept the investor group’s application for a franchise. 

The clock is ticking. The investors will have to start collecting more than 72,000 signatures to take the plan before the city council and council must OK the deal before next fall, when MLS decides who wins their bid for a new team.

In a worst case scenario, San Diego loses the bid. So what then? 

The reverter clause states if the group fails to complete the stadium, the city has the right to end any lease and," cause the ownership of any land transferred by the city under the option to reert to the city."

The clause gives the developer a broad time frame of seven years after a least is signed to put in a stadium, but in the meantime, they can go ahead and build other parts of the development. 

For now, Nick STone and his partners will start collecting those signatures for their initiative and present the measure for a vote by the city council in a few months. 

They want the joint-use stadium to be ready by March of 2020. 

Categories: Local San Diego News, SoccerCity Proposal