The chances are admittedly slim, but San Diego officials are clearly intrigued by the possibility of becoming an NFL town again sooner rather than later. In the wake of Tuesday’s news that the Raiders’ bid for Las Vegas is in peril, Mayor Kevin Faulconer spoke with an NFL official to let the league know the city is eager to engage when appropriate. Multiple sources said another person representing the city exchanged calls with a Raiders official, though it is not clear whether the sides spoke. Questions about whether San Diego should or could provide a landing spot for a disenfranchised franchise aside, it should be noted that the city’s foray into the other type of football could actually be a boon to such a quest. The chances the Raiders steer away from Las Vegas and toward San Diego still appear remote. But certainly, interest in bringing any NFL team to San Diego is no reason to pump the brakes on the process of vetting the group of investors seeking to land an MLS expansion franchise for the city. An effort to bring an NFL franchise to San Diego would actually be aided by the proposal to build a soccer stadium and mixed-use development on the Mission Valley site that currently houses Qualcomm Stadium. The proposed development, which calls for a 20,000-seat stadium for an MLS expansion franchise along with housing, retail, office and entertainment space, sets aside a 16-acre parcel specifically for an NFL stadium. The MLS proposal calls for the San Diego State football team to play in the smaller stadium, which would expand to 30,000 for football games. The Aztecs, who would prefer a slightly larger venue, could conceivably play in an NFL stadium (as could the Holiday Bowl). Regardless, the point is that these efforts could work in harmony. One thing to consider is that MLS might not be interested in San Diego if an NFL team is here, though the league’s reluctance to share a market with the Chargers does not automatically mean the same sentiment would apply to another NFL team. The MLS is in multiple NFL markets. The league’s concern over coming to San Diego centered on the Chargers’ dominance with the market’s sports consumer.
San Diego a possibility if Raiders bust in Vegas
San Diego Union-Tribune | Feb 1