FC Gold Pride Announces New Home Venue

Lauren GreenCorrespondent IDecember 17, 2009

FC Gold Pride continues to build upon the rich tradition of professional sports in the Bay Area by bringing Women's Professional Soccer to the "Heart of the Bay."

The team announced today that Pioneer Stadium at California State University, East Bay will be the new home of the Pride.  Along with the team, the Pride's business operations will leave its current headquarters in Sunnyvale and will be relocated to the East Bay.  

"This is a great opportunity for our team and organization to give ourselves a clear cut advantage both on and off the field." said Pride General Manager Ilisa Kessler.  "Making our home in the 'Heart of the Bay' gives us many more ways to deliver a positive, memorable experience to more fans." 

"The City of Hayward has a long history of being a community graced with significant athletic programs at our universities, colleges, secondary schools, and youth athletic leagues," said City of Hayward Mayor, Michael Sweeney. 

"Having the opportunity to be the home to one of the nine national Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) franchises is most encouraging and exciting at this time.  Thus, the City is enthusiastically looking forward to having FC Gold Pride play their home games for the 2010 season in our celebrated city." 

Pioneer Stadium at Cal State East Bay offers the Pride opportunities to enhance fan experiences, for greater flexibility in scheduling and is centrally located in the Bay Area, making the team accessible to more fans.  Additionally, the Pride is the main summer tenant of Pioneer Stadium. 

"This is not just a lease for us, this is a partnership," added Kessler. "Pioneer Stadium will be the backdrop for many exciting moments in FC Gold Pride history.  We are looking forward to a long-lasting partnership with Cal State East Bay and the city of Hayward."

Prior to the Pride's first match at Pioneer Stadium, the field will undergo a extensive renovation that will update the playing surface to turf and install a five-lane all-weather track surrounding the field. Once renovations are complete, the intimate soccer-specific stadium will be configured for a capacity crowd of 5,000 fans.

The renovations to Pioneer Stadium are already underway and are scheduled to be completed by May 15, 2010.  A second phase of renovations that will take place at a later date, will update the entrance plaza that will welcome fans to the state of the art facility. 

"After many months of negotiations, we are thrilled to have developed this partnership with FC Gold Pride," said Chris Brown, Associate Vice President of Enterprise Operations at Cal State East Bay. "It's a wonderful opportunity for our campus and surrounding community for Cal State East Bay to be the new home for FC Gold Pride. 

"The partnership will not only bring additional resources to the campus, but will also provide opportunities for our athletic department, our athletes, as well as solid family entertainment for our students, faculty, staff and community.  We look forward to a long and rewarding relationship with FC Gold Pride." 

While renovations to Pioneer Stadium are being completed, the Pride will host its early regular season matches at Castro Valley High School (CVHS) Athletic Stadium.  Located just five miles away from Pioneer Stadium, the two year old stadium at CVHS offers a comparable playing surface and fan experience to what will be offered at CSU East Bay.

The previous story is excerpted from a press release by FC Gold Pride and is reprinted by beat writer Lauren Green. Green is a freelance writer who writes for Bleacher Report and Sports, Then and Now. She can be contacted for comment or hire at lgreensoccer20@yahoo.com PHOTO CREDIT:  www.womensprosoccer.com/bayarea