San Diego Chargers

AP Photo/Denis Poroy

Investors want MLS stadium on site of Chargers’ former home

Leave a comment

SAN DIEGO (AP) With the NFL’s Chargers leaving for Los Angeles, a group of private investors unveiled plans Monday to bring an MLS team to San Diego and build a stadium that can be shared with San Diego State.

In addition to the joint-use venue which could seat up to 30,000, the 166-acre Qualcomm Stadium site which has housed the Chargers would also be used for a sports and entertainment district, according to the FS Investors group’s plans. The plans also set aside acreage for a larger stadium, in case the NFL decides to return to San Diego.

[ MORE: Transfer window names to watch ]

“There are a lot of people that were disappointed with that (the Chargers’ move) and understandably so,” said Nick Stone, a partner in the investors group, which would develop the property and own the MLS franchise. “But we think this is a really, really interesting time to look at the opportunity to bring soccer to San Diego. It’s a very logical market for that.

“We can bring what is the world’s most popular sport, and the fastest growing sport in the U.S.,” Stone said. “One door closed but a really great door opened.”

The Chargers announced on Jan. 12 that they would play in the Los Angeles area next season after 56 seasons in San Diego.

Stone’s group, which includes Padres lead investor Peter Seidler and former Qualcomm president Steve Altman, has the exclusive negotiating rights with the MLS. The league is expected to designate expansion cities this fall.

The investor group said it wouldn’t require taxpayer money for its plan, which includes buying the land now occupied by Qualcomm.

[ MORE: CONCACAF Champions League’s big reboot ]

“This is an exciting concept that could welcome major league soccer to San Diego without public subsidy, provide a home for Aztecs football and create a long-awaited river park,” San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said in a statement. “I look forward to seeing the final plan.”

After five years, FS Investors said it would donate its half ownership of the stadium to San Diego State. San Diego State’s football team now plays at Qualcomm Stadium, which is also home to college football’s Holiday and Poinsettia bowls.

Former FC Dallas GK Josh Lambo wins starting kicking job with San Diego Chargers


Josh Lambo, the 2008 MLS SuperDraft first-round pick of FC Dallas, will be the starting kicker for the NFL’s San Diego Chargers when the Bolts kick off the 2015 season next Sunday.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s MLS coverage | USMNT ]

Lambo, who never made a league appearance in his four seasons with FC Dallas (2008-2011), gave up goalkeeping at age 21 and enrolled at Texas A&M University, where we walked on as a member of the Aggies football team, in 2012. Lambo became A&M’s starting placekicker midway through the 2013 season, his second as a member of the program.

Lambo, now 24, went a perfect 4-for-4 on field goal attempts during the Chargers’ recently completed preseason, in which the Lansing, Michigan, native nailed three kicks of over 40 yards and one from more than 50.

[ MORE: If you’ve ever criticized Jurgen Klinsmann, you don’t understand soccer ]

It’s actually pretty surprising that more life-long goalkeepers don’t make the goal-to-gridiron jump once it becomes clear a professional soccer career isn’t going to happen. As much time as goalkeepers spend booting a stationary ball up the field — doing so with specific direction and accuracy — you’d think those mechanics and skill would translate to placekicking extremely well.

The median base salary for starting kickers in the NFL was $875,000 in 2014, which is close to 10 times what most backup goalkeepers make in MLS.