Real Salt Lake owner Dell Loy Hansen is pitching a soccer academy and potential 8,000-seat stadium on city land in Oceanside (CA), but some locals don’t want to see a community golf course go by the wayside.
The complex would include six soccer fields and support facilities at the 76-acre Center City Golf Course. The proposal includes a scaled-back nine-hole golf and the reserved use of enough land for a stadium and a hotel. The proposal is for an initial two-year usage, with the city receiving $12,000 a year in rent plus a share of revenues down the line.
Hansen is pretty clear about his intent to bring minor-league soccer to Oceanside, according to a team spokesperson:
Trey Fitz-Gerald, spokesman for the team, said Loy Hansen owns a home in Oceanside and wants to bring soccer to the city.
“He’s really excited about the possibility of Oceanside being a home to a minor league soccer team that we operate and have an interest in,” he said.
In fact, writes Chris Kamrani, putting together a lower-level team, perhaps at the USL level, has been a goal of Real Salt Lake officials for years:
The idea of forming a minor league team — perhaps a USL side — in San Diego as an extension of RSL has been one that has been floated and looked at for some time. RSL general manager Garth Lagerwey told the Tribune in late January that the piece the club is hoping to add in the future is a minor league team.
“If we can get that together by 2015, that’s something we’re very interested in,” Lagerwey said in his interview from Casa Grande, Ariz. “But there’s nothing done yet and nothing is close to being official.”
Lagerwey said having a minor league team or reserve club to coincide with its flourishing residential youth academy in Casa Grande, where RSL has signed more than a handful of players to its first team since the academy’s inception in 2010. The Grande Sports Academy is a $20 million facility south of Phoenix, Ariz., with six lighted fields and a 58,000-square foot training and conditioning center.
The proposal is scheduled to be discussed at tonight’s city council meeting.