Dave Rice

Dave Rice is a Reader contributor. See staff page for published articles.

Could Major League Soccer kick the city where it counts?

A few thoughts... MLS, being played in a format much more familiar to an international audience than the WISL Sockers played in, should have broader appeal. I was a kid in the days of the first indoor Sockers dynasty and loved it (my parents likely loved the low cost of entry as well), but I don't know that interest there translates directly into interest in the game played worldwide. The success of Tijuana's Xolos seems to indicate that there's a cross-border interest in pro soccer regionally. But Mexico's pro league is at present much more prestigious than MLS, and winning there seems to have a bigger impact than a MLS team that might or might not be a winner could have here - that's a gamble. Can a stadium compromise that fits for both SDSU and the as-yet-unannounced MLS franchise be reached? It seems the ideal MLS venue seats around 30,000 which, given the findings above, might even be a bit generous. Meanwhile, I've heard that the up-and-coming SDSU handegg program wants a capacity of 40,000 or so. The Murph is a dump, and the haphazard add-ons over the years have only made it worse. Before I grew up I was a diehard Chargers fan and spent a decade traveling to other NFL digs - only the since-retired site for 49ers games came close to being as poor a facility of the dozen or so I saw (Atlanta's now-defunct facility was a paradise compared to San Diego). Though the "buy us a new stadium!" campaign had been ongoing for years when I started traveling, I didn't believe it necessary until I saw the venues other NFL teams enjoyed. Still, while deficient by league standards, public investment in a stadium for the soon-to-be-in-decline NFL was and rightly is a hard sell.
— March 9, 2017 11:57 p.m.

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