Industry News

San Diego State ends Qualcomm Stadium MLS talks

San Diego State University has said it has ended talks with a group that is seeking to form a Major League Soccer franchise in the city as part of plans to develop the site on which Qualcomm Stadium, the home of the school’s American football team, currently sits.

Earlier this year, the SoccerCity group unveiled plans to transform the land on which Qualcomm Stadium is located. The stadium is currently without a major league tenant after the Chargers NFL team relocated to Los Angeles, but it still hosts games played by San Diego State.

In March, the group said it had collected enough signatures to either force the city’s council to approve the project or put the matter to a public vote.

Under the SoccerCity proposal, a $200m (£154m/€180m) MLS-specific stadium would be built on the current stadium site, and serve as the hub of a wide-ranging $1bn development complex.

The plans also include the option to build another NFL stadium in the immediate vicinity, should the league opt to return to San Diego in the future.

The group has been in discussion with San Diego State but the two parties have been unable to reach a compromise.

In a statement reported by ESPN, the school said it had ended talks because “a fair, equitable deal that would provide opportunity for the long-term success of SDSU and Aztec football, as well as a transparent deal for the citizens of San Diego, could not be reached.

“Recently, Mayor Kevin Faulconer reached out to SDSU in an attempt to facilitate a deal on behalf of SDSU with FS Investors (which is leading the SoccerCity proposal). SDSU reiterated our offer to purchase land and to provide our fair share of infrastructure costs, but still no agreement could be reached.”

FS Investors’ Nick Stone responded by saying that the university’s decision represented “another sad chapter in the saga of departing university leadership moving the goal posts”.

Stone added that the group remains committed to working with the college.

According to ESPN, the university wants a larger stadium than the one being proposed by FS Investors.