USL Championship’s Charleston Battery has been sold to HCFC, LLC, a group led by Rob Salvatore.
The ownership change for the Battery was announced Wednesday, with HCFC purchasing the team from B Sports Entertainment. Along with the ownership change, the Battery is proceeding with plans to move home matches to the College of Charleston’s Patriots Point Soccer Complex in Mount Pleasant beginning in 2020. More details on that move are expected to be released in the coming weeks.
The venue change had been expected for the Battery, as the team’s MUSC Health Stadium is set to be demolished after being sold to a developer earlier this year. Originally known as Blackbaud Stadium, the facility opened in 1999 and was home to the Battery through the 2019 season.
Terms of the sale were not disclosed.
“The Battery are an indelible part of the Charleston community,” Salvatore said in a press statement. “As one of the most historic professional soccer organizations in the United States, this club has brought people throughout the Lowcountry together for decades. As ownership and custodians of the club, we will honor and respect that history while bringing new energy, experience and resources to grow the club’s connection to the community both on and off the field.”
“This new venture between the College of Charleston and the Charleston Battery is a tremendous collaboration that will benefit the Towne of Mount Pleasant, the College and soccer fans in the metro-Charleston area,” College of Charleston President Andrew T. Hsu said in a press statement. “By moving the Battery closer to College facilities – which are closer to downtown – more families, young professionals and students will be able to take in professional soccer matches. The College of Charleston is happy to play a role, a small one at that, in this next chapter of the Battery’s story.”
“We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Rob, his family and the entire HCFC ownership group to the USL Championship,” USL President, and former Battery player, Jake Edwards said in a press statement. “Our league is experiencing a tremendous period of growth, and as someone who has had the privilege of playing for the club, I know firsthand how wonderful the Charleston community is and how important they are to the future of the USL Championship. Under Rob’s leadership, we believe the future of professional soccer in Charleston is incredibly bright.”
According to a press release issued Wednesday, Salvatore will conduct a series of community listening sessions over the next few months to gain feedback on how the club can further connect itself with the community. Additional details on those sessions are expected to be released in the coming weeks.
“The most important thing we can do this offseason is listen,” Salvatore said in a press statement. “Our group brings a very unique profile with entrepreneurs who have built consumer brands and community driven businesses, marketers, major league sports owners and even a former professional soccer player, so we are confident that we have some very exciting ideas on how we can improve and grow the organization, but we need to make sure those ideas align with the views and beliefs of our supporters. It’s very important that we’re making decisions together.
“We may own the team, but it belongs to Charleston. It is paramount that we earn and keep the community’s trust. That starts by listening and being transparent.”
Image courtesy Charleston Battery.
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