Three main reasons: our senior teams, our youth teams, and our SF community.
First, our senior team program has been an overwhelming success. Since 1961, we have fielded teams in the historic SFSFL, but in 2018, we added a USL League Two team at the top of our Pathway Pyramid. Since that moment, 34 Glens the last three years have advanced to college soccer, a pro contract, or the MLS SuperDraft. Having our own facility will allow us to add more training opportunities to improve the way we develop our players and more revenue opportunities in hosting games to offset annual operating costs, namely travel.
In addition, our ambition has always been to offer a full-fledged professional program on both the men’s and women’s side. This facility marks a big step toward building the foundation our club will need to get there, with a FIFA-certified pitch, modular grandstand, and locker rooms among other amenities.
Second, as youth soccer's popularity rises and our club—now the largest in San Francisco with over 1,000 total players—concurrently grows in size, city and private fields are becoming more and more impacted. In most cases, the price to rent them per hour is also increasing every year. Thus, it is becoming more and more difficult to secure fields for our teams to be able to have additional practices and games.
This facility will allow for over 700 additional training hours and over 200 additional match hours for club members and our community per year. And while teams of all age groups will use the facility for games during the weekends, mainly the older teams will use it for their additional trainings during the weekdays. We will still be using our allotment of city fields per team and age group.
Finally, as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, we have always been a community club both on and off the field, and this facility will allow us to serve even more San Franciscans in that respect. The costs to run events like our annual free micro soccer clinics for young children due to the aforementioned high price of renting fields will now be mitigated substantially. In addition, we’ve already begun discussions with various community organizations and nonprofits like One Treasure Island to see how we can help meet the needs of the local residents.