Ben on the Bolts: Chargers and the World Cup?

SAN DIEGO - This is a longshot, for sure. But at this point, any idea related to a new stadium in San Diego appears to be a longshot, so let me throw out something new.

At some point, the World Cup will be coming back to the United States. Maybe in 2026, although the formal bidding process hasn't started yet. Perhaps even in 2022 if FIFA takes drastic action to remedy the corruption and exploitation of the bid awarding the tournament to Qatar.

Right now, there's a civic-minded group of local leaders who are trying to bring the Olympics to San Diego. I think they'd be better served (and we'd all be better off) if they tried bringing a World Cup to San Diego instead.

The cost of building one stadium that would be ideal for hosting a World Cup Final (plus earlier group matches) would be a fraction of the total cost of hosting the Olympic games. Plus, instead of bringing tourists and athletes in for 2 weeks, you could have an entire month in which San Diego was at the center of the international spotlight.

I'm sure you also understand that a world-class soccer stadium and a Super Bowl football stadium are essentially the same thing (Wembley Stadium in London, where the Chargers played in 2008, is a perfect example). I think you see where I'm going. Two birds with one stone. Plus, with a great soccer stadium, MLS would be banging down our door to add an expansion team or relocate an existing franchise.

Instead of the Olympics, San Diego's leaders should be partnering with the Chargers and FIFA on a plan to bring the World Cup to America's Finest City as part of a larger U.S. bid. It might be a dozen years away, but it's a solution worth our community's attention.

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