Pioneer Stadium on the Hayward campus will serve as home field for a new professional women's soccer team.
The Bay Area FC Gold Pride, one of nine teams in the Women’s Professional Soccer League, has selected Pioneer Stadium on the Hayward Campus of California State University, East Bay as its home field starting with the 2010 season. The team made the announcement Dec. 16.
“This is a great opportunity for our team and organization to give ourselves a clear cut advantage both on and off the field.” said Ilisa Kessler, FC Gold Pride general manager. “Making our home in the ‘Heart of the Bay’ gives us many more ways to deliver a positive, memorable experience to more fans.”
A news release prepared by a team official said that Pioneer Stadium offers the Pride opportunities to enhance fan experiences, offers greater flexibility in scheduling, and is more centrally located in the Bay Area, making the team accessible to more fans. Along with its matches, the Pride’s business operations will leave its current headquarters in Sunnyvale and be relocated to the East Bay. Previously FC Gold Pride played its home games at Buck Shaw Stadium on the Santa Clara University campus.
“This is not just a lease for us, this is a partnership,” said 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.”
“After many months of negotiations, Cal State East Bay is thrilled to have developed this new partnership with FC Gold Pride,” said Christopher Brown, associate vice president of Enterprise Operations for the university. “It will be wonderful for the campus and our surrounding community to be the home base for a professional sports team. The partnership will not only bring additional resources to the campus, but it will also provide opportunities for our athletic department and athletes; in addition it will provide solid family entertainment for our community. We look forward to a long relationship with FC Gold Pride.”
Prior to the Pride’s first match at Pioneer Stadium, the field will undergo an 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. A second phase of renovations that will take place at a later date, will update the entrance plaza that welcomes fans.
While renovations to Pioneer Stadium are being completed, the Pride will host its early regular season matches at Castro Valley High School Athletic Stadium.