How realistic is MLS expansion in San Diego?

Amid reports that Padres owner Peter Seidler is interested in bringing MLS to San Diego, Darren Smith breaks down the possibility of MLS expansion, what needs to happen, and when we might have soccer in America’s Finest City.

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One thought on “How realistic is MLS expansion in San Diego?

  1. rob cohen

    With respect to MLS coming to San Diego, the first question I would have is there a demand for it? What kind of coverage does MLS get in San Diego media. The Union-Tribune posts the standings but they don’t cover the league like it covers the NBA or even the NHL. No box scores, no discussions of how various teams are doing and no scuttlebutt regarding any of the players in the league. I’m not aware of any other media outlet in town that covers MLS. It’s as if it’s a non-existant league. Other than Darren Smith, who talks about MLS on the radio or TV? If the league is ignored in SD, where is the groundswell of interest to have a team.

    If, for some reason, there is an interest (and the news of Peter Seidler’s group I guess counts as an interest) will the LA Galaxy and the new LAFC want another team in Southern California. Currently, the Galaxy televises games in the SD market through the same TimeWarner station that carries Lakers’ games. Will they, and LAFC, want to give up on televising in San Diego?

    What about the competition coming from Tijuana? The Xolos appear to be a success and apparently have a large South County following. Will that market switch to MLS over the Mexican League?

    I know there is a huge youth movement in SD of soccer enthusiasts. From youth leagues to fan clubs of European clubs and that the Mexican national team gets big TV ratings here. There actually may be a base of fans. But truly, how big is that and will a large crowd show up when the Columbus Crew or Atlanta FC comes to town?

    Of course the ever present issue regarding any local professional sports team (excluding the Padres) is what kind of facility will they play in. Stadium politics is not pretty here and if public money is being requested for a soccer facility, even one that could be shared with SDSU football, will be a hard sell.

    I don’t know the answers to the above questions, and maybe someone can enlighten me more on them. But I would not hold my breath waiting for a team. It could be a long while.