MLS received a record $500 million expansion fee to field an expansion team in San Diego for the 2025 season, according to multiple reports Tuesday.
Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Mansour and the local Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation are the owners of the new San Diego franchise, which will be the league’s third club in Southern California after the Los Angeles Galaxy and Los Angeles FC.
The team is expected to play at San Diego State’s new Snapdragon Stadium, which is home to the school’s football team and seats 35,000. The NWSL’s San Diego Wave also uses the facility, as does the San Diego Legion rugby team.
An official announcement is expected to take place Thursday at Snapdragon Stadium.
The expansion fee tops the previous record of $325 million paid by Charlotte FC. The St. Louis City franchise, which began play this season, paid a $200 million franchise fee.
The San Diego MLS franchise will become the league’s 30th team. Franchises in Sacramento, Calif., and Las Vegas had been in consideration to become the 30th franchise, but those deals have not been reached.
The area also is home to San Diego Loyal SC of the USL Championship. Former MLS star Landon Donovan is among that team’s ownership group, as is current player DeAndre Yedlin of Inter Miami. Donovan is also the club’s executive vice president.
The San Diego Loyal already have stated their intention to continue operations in the city, even if an MLS team is added to the area.
–Field Level Media