We’ll see a return of Jacksonville pro soccer in 2025, as both men’s and women’s teams will play under ownership that includes Tim Tebow, potentially debuting in a new stadium.
JAXUSL will be the first in Northeast Florida to feature both men’s and women’s professional soccer. The new club could end up with teams both in USL Championship and the USL Super League.
JAXUSL’s lead investor is Ricky Caplin, a Northeast Florida entrepreneur and principal of the Caplin Ventures. Florida sports legend Tim Tebow is a supporting owner of the club, bringing experience as a professional athlete, investor and philanthropist. Joining Caplin and Tebow in JAXUSL are experienced professional soccer executive Steve Livingstone and local community innovator Tony Allegretti. As founders and managing partners, Livingstone and Allegretti will oversee the day-to-day operations of JAXUSL in establishing and growing the USL expansion club.
“Our region has a rich and storied tradition of sporting excellence, from the gridiron to the island green and beyond. Our local teams and athletes have long been among the best, and our fans are some of the most passionate in the nation. Our community is made up of a diverse and international citizenry, which has a deep appreciation for the game of soccer. I’m thrilled to be partnering with Tim, Steve and Tony to bring the USL to our wonderful First Coast community and we look forward to identifying the right location, facilities and partners to make this dream a reality.”
The immediate challenge: a home venue. JAXUSL has identified multiple potential locations for the development of a 15,000-capacity stadium and a new training facility. Details about the stadium and training facility will be announced in the coming months.
JAXUSL also has formed a partnership with Florida Elite Soccer Academy, one of the largest and most successful youth soccer organizations in the United States. Headquartered in St. Johns County, Florida Elite includes more than 10,000 members throughout Northeast Florida, and fields pre-professional teams in USL League Two and USL W League. The expansion club will be among the first in the United States to offer a complete pathway from youth to pro for men and women.
Soccer fans across Northeast Florida will be invited to help develop the club’s brand through community consultation, town halls and a naming competition. Fans can register their interest in the club now by securing a season ticket deposit for $25 at the club’s official website.
As recently as January 2020 entrepreneur Robert Palmer, through his RP Sports Investments, was working on a new-stadium plan for his Jacksonville Armada team, an effort presumably dropped due to COVID. The Armada played in NASL out of various venues, including what was then The Baseball Grounds of Jacksonville.