SOCCER

Charlotte FC builds football training facility at McAlpine Park

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Charlotte FC fans cheer in the stands during warm-up before a game between Charlotte FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina on Sunday, May 22, 2022.

Charlotte FC fans cheer in the stands during warm-up before a game between Charlotte FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina on Sunday, May 22, 2022.

alslitz@charlotteobserver.com

Charlotte FC will open a new permanent training facility and headquarters by spring 2023, the club announced on Wednesday morning.

According to club officials, the site will be located at 8600 McAlpine Park Drive and will include a “privately funded over 52,000 square foot facility” that includes four pitches and related facilities, and it will put the Charlotte FC MLS team , its MLS NEXT Pro team and its academy teams “all under one roof”.

“A permanent training center and headquarters for Charlotte FC has been a priority for the club since its launch, and we are delighted to reach an agreement to bring this to life,” said David Tepper, owner of Charlotte FC. and the Carolina Panthers. , said in a press release. “The timing of this project was crucial and we are delighted to provide a first-class facility for our players and staff in the spring of 2023.”

The headquarters will house more than 110 Charlotte FC employees, not including players. One of the four pitches will have an artificial turf surface.

The club leases the site to Levine Properties, a family-owned real estate investment company based in the Charlotte area.

“We are thrilled to have a permanent home in Charlotte that brings everyone in our organization together under one roof,” Charlotte FC Joe LaBue said in a statement. “Staying in the heart of Charlotte allows for increased access to our athletes and grounds, which is a key factor in expanding our impact in the community. The potential for a wide selection of private and public programs on our campus will play an important role in the growth of the game. We are excited about our future home and would like to thank Daniel Levine and his team for their assistance in shaping our vision.

MLS’s newest expansion team, Charlotte FC, has been training at McAlpine for a few months. The team said in a statement that they would immediately begin renovations to the existing structure at the site.

The announcement comes about a month after Tepper Sports and Entertainment withdrew plans to build a youth academy and soccer fields at the former Eastland Mall site. The leadership change was part of a series of moves Tepper made over the summer that left Charlotte City Council members and residents alike puzzled.

When TSE officially ended the Eastland project, a spokesperson said the organization immediately began researching “fast-track alternatives”. Among those alternatives was the McAlpine Park site, sources with direct knowledge of the situation told The Observer on Wednesday.

Sources also told The Observer that the completion date at McAlpine – spring 2023 – is “around two years ahead of any other venue” the club were considering. The Eastland Mall site would have required the training facilities to be built from scratch, while the McAlpine site allows Charlotte FC to “deeply renovate what already exists”.

The club has announced that the name of the facility, renders and more will be revealed later this fall.

This story was originally published August 17, 2022 10:02 a.m.

Alex Zietlow writes about NASCAR, Charlotte FC and how the sport intersects with life in the Charlotte area for The Observer, where he has been a reporter since August 2022. Zietlow’s work has also been honored by NC Press Associations and SC. such as APSE, which awarded him top 10 in the Beat Writing and Short Feature categories in its 2021 writing competition. He previously wrote for The Herald at Rock Hill from 2019-22.

ADVERTISEMENT