The Charleston Battery is reportedly finalizing an agreement to play home matches at College of Charleston‘s soccer stadium beginning in 2020, a decision that would end aspirations of moving to downtown Charleston.
A venue change is on tap for USL Championship’s Battery in 2020, as the team’s MUSC Health Stadium is set to be demolished after being sold to a developer earlier this year. Thus far, there has not been an official announcement from the team on where it will stage matches next season, but a report from The Post and Courier indicates that the club is planning a move to the College of Charleston’s Ralph Lundy Field at Patriots Point in Mount Pleasant (pictured above).
Under the terms that are being reported, the agreement between the Battery and the college would run through the 2023 season. The club had previously expressed a desire to shift home matches to downtown Charleston, but it seems that a workable facility plan could not be put into place. More from The Post and Courier:
The Battery is finalizing an agreement with the college to play all of its home games through 2023 at the Mount Pleasant facility….
“When soccer first started in this country most of the stadiums that were getting built ended up in suburban America because the perception was that was where the fans were,” Charleston Battery president Mike Kelleher said during the summer. “It was marketed toward the soccer moms and soccer families. As the game has grown, I think you’re starting to see soccer move toward the cities because that’s where the fans are.”
Initially, the club wanted to move the team back to Stoney Field, which had been the Battery’s original home from 1993-99. Stoney Field, which is used by Burke High School and the city of Charleston recreation department, is undergoing renovations and wouldn’t be ready for use until the fall of 2020, city officials said.
The Battery then shifted its focus to playing at Johnson Hagood Stadium, The Citadel’s 11,000-seat a facility across the street from Stoney Field. However, issues with the installation of new turf on field for the 2020 Citadel football season forced the Battery to look elsewhere.
Ralph Lundy Field is located in the Patriots Point Athletic Complex, which also includes facilities for the college’s baseball, softball, and tennis programs. Last month, the college held a ceremony to dedicate Ralph Lundy Field in honor of long-time men’s soccer head coach Ralph Lundy, who will retire at the end of the program’s 2019 season.
MUSC Health Stadium, located on Daniel Island, served as The Battery’s home from the time it was completed in 1999. It was known at that time as Blackbaud Stadium, and was revolutionary for its use of a soccer-specific design.
Image courtesy College of Charleston Athletics.
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