Dell Loy Hansen is making a pitch to have a slice of Real Salt Lake near his home in Southern California. In a report by Edward Sifuentes of The San Diego Union-Tribune Tuesday, Hansen, RSL’s owner, will make a proposal to build a soccer academy in Oceanside, Calif., to the Oceanside City Council to construct a training complex which would include six private soccer fields.
The report stated Hansen and the club are looking at an area of Oceanside east of Interstate 5 where a city-run 76-acre golf course sits. The project of potentially building another academy associated with RSL could be expanded to add an 8,000-seat soccer stadium for a minor league soccer team and two hotels, according to the report by the U-T.
The project — not including the building of the proposed hotels — is expected to cost $8 million, as the report states.
Following Hansen’s proposal at Wednesday’s Oceanside City Council meeting, the public will have a chance to voice its opinion before the council decides to lease agreement with RSL or go in another direction, Sifuentes writes.
"[Hansen’s] really excited about the possibility of Oceanside being a home to a minor league soccer team that we operate and have interest in," RSL spokesman Trey-Fitzgerald told the U-T.
The idea of forming a minor league team — perhaps a USL side — in San Diego as an extension of RSL has been one that has been floated and looked at for some time. RSL general manager Garth Lagerwey told the Tribune in late January that the piece the club is hoping to add in the future is a minor league team.
"If we can get that together by 2015, that’s something we’re very interested in," Lagerwey said in his interview from Casa Grande, Ariz. "But there’s nothing done yet and nothing is close to being official."
Lagerwey said having a minor league team or reserve club to coincide with its flourishing residential youth academy in Casa Grande, where RSL has signed more than a handful of players to its first team since the academy’s inception in 2010. The Grande Sports Academy is a $20 million facility south of Phoenix, Ariz., with six lighted fields and a 58,000-square foot training and conditioning center.
Lagerwey said if the club is able to add another feeder avenue for the first team, it would be the ideal move from the academy — either in Arizona or potentially Oceanside — to the minor league team and eventually Salt Lake City.
"That would be the most legitimate path," Lagerwey said.
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