San Diego MLS will become the first professional sports organization to establish a dedicated professional training facility on a tribal reservation, officials announced Sunday.
Located in El Cajon on Sycuan tribal land, the project will span a 28-acre site that currently encompasses a portion of the Pine Glen Golf Course and the Singing Hills Hotel.
The development includes construction of a 50,000-square-foot sports performance facility for the first team and academy teams, as well five full-sized soccer fields, including three natural turf fields and two synthetic turf fields.
“We couldn’t ask for a more perfect location for our training facility and Right to Dream Academy,” San Diego MLS CEO Tom Penn said. “This land is absolutely beautiful — rich with tradition and heritage — which will give us the foundation to achieve our vision to become the epicenter of football excellence and innovation in North America.”
A key component of the facility is establishment of a Right to Dream Academy, a residential youth academy for students between the ages of 11-18, spanning grades 6 through 12. The existing Singing Hills Hotel will be repurposed into youth academy dormitories and classroom facilities that will provide education for students living on campus.
“We are immensely proud of what this moment represents,” said Sycuan Tribal Chairman Cody Martinez. “It signifies a new chapter in the story of the Sycuan Tribe and San Diego — a chapter where we come together through our shared love for soccer to build a brighter future for our youth, our city and our tribe.”
A groundbreaking ceremony will take place in November, officials said, when more renderings of the facilities will be unveiled.