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Features

New stadium on Oakland Roots radar

United Soccer League Championship club Oakland Roots has detailed plans to explore the development of a new stadium that would also house the Oakland Soul women’s team, which will begin playing next year.

In a statement, Oakland Roots said the club’s promotion to the USL Championship and the subsequent growth of the team, coupled with the launch of a women’s franchise in Oakland, means that it is “outgrowing” the 5,500-capacity Laney College Stadium.

An interim stadium is being sought where the Roots, Soul and Project 510, the club’s development programme for local talent, can play for “several years’ until a permanent home can be built.

The club is exploring multiple sites that could accommodate a privately-financed modular stadium that could hold up to 10,000 fans.

Lindsay Barenz, president of the Roots and Soul, said: “The challenge of finding facilities that meet the standards for top-level pro sports in Oakland are well-known, but it’s a challenge we’re happy to embrace.

“We’ve been working hard to explore all options, both short- and long-term, to create a permanent home for pro soccer in the town that reflects our commitment to the community.”

Oakland Roots has played at Laney College Stadium since the club’s debut season in 2019. The team will continue to play at the stadium while plans for a new interim and permanent stadium are explored.

The club has invited fans to complete a survey to gather their views on future stadium plans. The team has expressed a commitment to staying in Oakland, which has lost the NFL’s Raiders and the NBA’s Warriors to Las Vegas and San Francisco, respectively, in recent years.

The City of Oakland is also facing a battle to keep Major League Baseball franchise the Athletics – its last remaining major league team.

The Athletics and city authorities recently hailed another key vote to progress a $12bn (£10.4bn/€12.1bn) waterfront ballpark project and potentially ward off the threat of the team relocating to Las Vegas.

The A’s are planning a privately financed 35,000-seat ballpark at Howard Terminal which would also see the substantial regeneration of the surrounding area. The team intends to leave its current home, RingCentral Coliseum, when its lease expires in 2024, and has also been exploring its options in Las Vegas.

Image: Oakland Roots