San Diego FC breaks ground on training facility

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California Construction News staff writer

San Diego FC launched construction on a new performance center and Right to Dream Academy last week in El Cajon on the Sycuan Reservation. The groundbreaking event was called a significant step in the club’s march towards a 2025 kick off.

“This is a foundational moment for our Club,” said Tom Penn, CEO, San Diego FC. “The San Diego FC Performance Center and Right to Dream Academy will enable us to develop future generations of world-class players across greater San Diego.

“This groundbreaking initiative reaffirms our commitment to create opportunities for young talent to flourish and our vision to become the epicenter of football excellence and innovation in North America.”

The project is part of the 125,000 sq. ft. campus that will feature a 50,000-sq. ft. sports performance center shared by the first team and academy teams, and five full-sized soccer fields, including three natural turf fields and two synthetic turf fields.

The 28-acre project was designed by Gensler. San Diego based Zephyr is serving as the development partner on the project, led by San Diego FC founding partner Brad Termini. AECOM is the general contractor.

“A cultural focal point of the facility is the second floor dining room and communal hub, overlooking the training fields, which fosters engagement between the academy players, coaches, teachers and professional players,” Gensler principal Jonathan Emmett said in a statement.

The first group of residential athletes will be enrolled in Fall 2025.

“Right to Dream San Diego will offer a number of firsts in the U.S. and MLS footballing landscapes, including a fully-funded school, residences and football academy that offers pathways for young talent to flourish both on and off the field,” said Tom Vernon, Founder/CEO, Right to Dream. “As we have in Ghana, Denmark and Egypt we will provide opportunities to student athletes to reach their academic potential, affect positive change in their communities and become world-class football players.”

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