Investor is gung-ho on Northern California's East Bay for USL team

Less than a month after the San Francisco Deltas folded after winning the NASL championship in their first and only season, plans were unveiled for another Division II team in the Bay Area.

Investor Mark Hall acquired the rights for a USL franchise in the East Bay area. He wants to build a 15,000-seat soccer-specific stadium to house the new team, which he hopes to launch by 2021. Plans for another USL team in the Bay Area -- San Francisco FC -- collapsed this summer as the group backed by Zappos.com founder Nick Swinmurn failed to find a suitable home for the team.

A competitive sports market with two MLB and NFL teams and the NBA champion Warriors, many outdoor activities and the high cost of real estate make the Bay Area a tough sports market to break into. Hall views the impending move of the Warriors and NFL Raiders out of Oakland as creating a new opportunity for soccer in the East Bay.

“We see a unique opportunity to fill a professional sports void created from the loss of the Oakland Raiders and the Golden State Warriors to venues outside of the East Bay," Hall said. "We intend to fill that void with soccer, which we see as the up-and-coming sport of the future, both in our region and the nation. A well-conceived stadium complex can be a game-changing economic generator for the right area, and we hope there will be a community that will find an integrated stadium, hotel and conference facility to be an attractive anchor, which will generate jobs and economic vibrancy."
 
Hall is building a $45 million sports mall in Walnut Creek, one of the largest privately financed indoor youth sports complexes in the United States. The Shadelands facility will serve as the home for sports training programs in various youth sports.
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1 comment about "Investor is gung-ho on Northern California's East Bay for USL team".
  1. R2 Dad, December 19, 2017 at 12:01 p.m.

    I don't know how they can make this work. Current USL attendance average is less than 5K--where are the other 10K going to come from? The Walnut Creek corridor is essentially one freeway surrounded by suburbia, not a dense city. Who will drive there when 680 is already packed with the commute? Noon kickoff? Maybe if there is a significant base living in Fairfield/Vacaville and drives the countercommute, but 80 is still pretty ugly already. There is land at the Oakland Colisium, in Vallejo and Alameda, maybe Treasure Island if the developer is interested in building out ferry lines which SF would probably require for any sports complex. Good luck.

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