The project became official in a groundbreaking ceremony attended by Oceanside mayor Esther C. Sanchez and city officials, as well as industrial building partners Watkins Landmark Construction and Icon Architectural Group.
Sockers players past and present joined in to celebrate the new home for the club, projected for completion in time for the 2023 season opener.
“This day has been a long time coming, and we’re humbled it is here,” said Sockers owner and head coach Phil Salvagio. “Many people have worked to get us to this day, and we are excited to get shovels in the ground and start building.”
The 170,000 square-foot arena, which will host 6,367 fans for sporting events and up to 8,000 for concerts, will include a full-service restaurant, bars and concessions, a plaza area, and ten luxury suites.
Known by its working title of “Califino Arena,” in honor of Salvagio’s tequila company, the arena’s naming rights eventually will be sold.
The new arena, previously approved by the Oceanside City Council, is expected to host far more than Sockers games. The owners are soliciting other professional leagues and sports to make the venue their home, as well as planning for concerts, youth sports, and more.
The Sockers, winners of the Ron Newman Cup and the 2021 Major Arena Soccer League championship, are negotiating with Pechanga Arena San Diego with the intent of remaining as a tenant until the arena is completed.
The upcoming Sockers season will begin in the winter, with official opening dates soon to be announced.