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Snapdragon Stadium confident of hosting MLS expansion team

The operators of San Diego’s Snapdragon Stadium are confident of landing a Major League Soccer (MLS) expansion franchise to play in the venue.

Investors are eyeing up the launch of a team in the Californian city as soon as 2024, with the under-construction San Diego State University’s (SDSU) 35,000-capacity stadium compliant with MLS requirements.

Snapdragon Stadium will be the home for the college’s football programme as well as the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) expansion team San Diego Wave from September.

SDSU athletic director David Wicker has now told San Diego Union-Tribune (SDUT) that he expects an MLS team will be playing at the venue sooner rather than later.

“I’m confident we’re going to have MLS in our building,” Wicker told SDUT. “Whether that’s 2024 or 2026 or sometime after that, I don’t know. But there’s a lot of interest in San Diego, and we have a lot of interest in having MLS.

“It’s big for us because it’s bringing revenue to the building. It helps with all our partners – sponsors, third-party vendors, everyone. The more events you have in there, the better they do. It also helps us deliver on the pledge we made from the beginning, that we wanted to build something for the entire community, not just San Diego State.”

Wicker told SDTU that SDSU would offer MLS “flexible” financial terms that will reportedly be either a traditional lease or an equity stake in the stadium. The latter would offer the potential MLS occupant greater opportunity to generate revenue.

Last year, technology company Qualcomm acquired naming rights to the stadium under a 15-year, $45m (£34m/€40m) deal. Aztec Stadium became known as Snapdragon Stadium after Qualcomm’s premier mobile platform brand.

Image: SDSU