The arrival of Major League Soccer (MLS) in San Diego is generating palpable excitement among sports enthusiasts, but what truly stands out is the innovative approach that the new expansion franchise is taking by building its training facilities on tribal lands in El Cajon.
The decision to construct a cutting-edge sports campus on the Sycuan tribe’s property is historic and represents a significant step in the evolution of professional sports in the United States. For the first time, a professional sports organization is settling on a tribal reservation, providing an inspiring example of cooperation and inclusion.
The creation of five soccer fields and the establishment of the Right to Dream Academy in the United States are investments not only in the San Diego team but also in the local community and the promotion of soccer at all levels. The Right to Dream Academy will offer educational and athletic opportunities for students from 6th to 12th grade, contributing to the development of young talent in the sport and beyond.
The adaptive use of the Singing Hills Hotel as a location for classrooms and dormitories is a noteworthy example of how San Diego’s MLS is committed to the responsible use of existing resources, without compromising the area’s cultural heritage.
The team’s CEO, Tom Penn, emphasized the beauty of the land and its rich tradition and heritage as inspiration for the project. His vision of making San Diego the epicenter of excellence and innovation in soccer in North America is exciting and challenging, and the unique location of the facilities will certainly contribute to the realization of this vision.
As the San Diego expansion team prepares to join the MLS in 2025, this historic moment should serve as an example to other teams and sports organizations across the country. Cooperation with local communities and the incorporation of cultural elements into sports projects can further enrich the fabric of sports in the United States.
The construction of training facilities on tribal lands in El Cajon not only strengthens the sport but also celebrates the diversity and cultural richness of the country. San Diego is set to become a beacon of innovation in the world of soccer, and we can all learn from this visionary initiative. It’s a goal for MLS and an important step toward a more inclusive and inspiring sports future.