But San Diego State football is sticking around for good -- that's the great thing about college football teams: they never move! -- but the Aztecs will need to find a new home sooner rather than later. Qualcomm Stadium is feeling every bit of 50 years old now, and it's not like the NFL club leaving town is going to incentive San Diego residents to plunge more resources into the facility.
Thankfully for the two-time defending Mountain West champions, help may be on the way.
On Monday, a local investment group forwarded a ballot initiative that would include a $200 million soccer stadium as part of a $1 billion redevelopment of the Qualcomm Stadium property.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the investment group is offering to buy the site, take Qualcomm Stadium off the city's hands (San Diego owes $28 million in bonds, with $100 million in maintenance costs to come due at some point) and build a development that would attract residents and office space -- primarily aimed at San Diego State students and school offices. The development would also build a 20,000-30,000-seat soccer facility and reserve space to build a new NFL stadium to attract teams from other cities (including possibly the Los Angeles Chargers!).
In return, the investors are asking the San Diego City Council to approve the initiative outright rather than waiting to put it on the 2018 ballot. Waiting a year-plus would likely kill the soccer stadium -- and, in turn, kill the Possible New Home of Aztecs Football -- since Major League Soccer will likely finish its current round of expansion by then. The investors hope to get the ball rolling by applying for MLS membership by the end of this month.
One would think San Diego State would throw all of its weight behind this project, considering the gulf between playing in a new, intimate stadium and a cavernous, dilapidated facility is wider than, well, than the gap between San Diego State and the rest of the Mountain West.
If approved, the facility is projected to open in 2020.