With MLS coming to town, San Diego Loyal shut down at hand

San Diego Loyal SC first match crowd

With MLS expanding to the market and no new-stadium prospects in sight, USL Championship announced a San Diego Loyal shut down at the end of the 2023 campaign.

The league announced today that it will transition the franchise rights held by USL Championship club San Diego Loyal SC’s ownership group after a viable near- and long-term stadium solution in the market did not materialize.

In the coming months, the USL will provide more information about the transfer of the franchise rights.

“Having a modern, commercially viable stadium solution is vital to our clubs’ long-term success and is a pillar of the USL’s growth strategy,” said USL Deputy CEO Justin Papadakis via press statement. “Despite collectively pursuing multiple potential options with SD Loyal’s leadership in the San Diego area, an appropriate stadium solution has not materialized.”

SD Loyal, led by principal owner Andrew Vassiliadis and supporting owner Landon Donovan, joined the USL Championship in 2020 and has played its home matches at Torero Stadium on the campus of the University of San Diego. The team has qualified for the USL Championship Playoffs two years in a row and is currently above the playoff line in the Western Conference standings.

“Bottom line, no matter how well a team performs on the field, having the right stadium situation is essential for all professional sports teams,” Papadakis said. “We are working with our current and expansion clubs to develop soccer-specific stadiums that will ensure a strong commercial foundation for the clubs and give fans a place to call home for decades.”

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