"Soccer City" Plan: Petition drive at party for World Cup Qualif - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

"Soccer City" Plan: Petition drive at party for World Cup Qualifiers

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - San Diegans pushing for the "SoccerCity" plan to bring Major League Soccer to San Diego are closer to their goal. 

The plan by a group calling itself GoalSD wants to use the Mission Valley property at the site of Qualcomm Stadium. A river park that spans 55 acres, community soccer fields, a series of office buildings, a space for an NFL stadium - if a new team wants to move here - and a whole lot more is proposed in the SoccerCity plan.  

The soccer stadium would be shared with San Diego State University, and according to investors the project would be funded privately without costing taxpayers. 

"Sports is such a huge part of San Diego, it's culture and blood. I think it would be very welcoming," said soccer fan, Alli Taylor. 

The San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation said redeveloping the outdated Qualcomm stadium into "soccer City" will have a $2.5 billion economic benefit. 

During Friday night's World Cup qualifier, hundreds of fans cheered during the watch party at pop-up park The Quartyard in downtown San Diego. 

"It's a blessing to be here and seeing everyone here together. It lets you know that soccer is big," said Oscar Lua. 

This past week, Mayor Kevin Faulconer met with representatives of San Diego State University to hear their concerns about the proposed "Soccer City" project. 

SDSU officials presented the mayor with seven points they said were "imperative" to the future success of SDSU and San Diego - which includes a 12-acre multi-use stadium site free and clear of any development constraints for design and construction, that SDSU would purchase or lease for 99 years. 

In ten days, GoalSD said it gathered and exceeded the 71,000 valid signatures it needed from city residents. The group said it wants to gather 100,000 signatures before submitting them to the City Council. 

Once the signatures are submitted, the plan moves on to the city council, which would have to approve by late June/early July - without asking for a public vote.   

The public can vote on Facebook for San Diego's MLS team name.

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