Prefab Pitch

Populous unveils modular soccer stadium for San Diego County

Architecture West
A proposal for a new professional soccer team in San Diego by Kansas City–based Populous aims to utilize prefabricated construction. (Courtesy Populous)
A proposal for a new professional soccer team in San Diego by Kansas City–based Populous aims to utilize prefabricated construction. (Courtesy Populous)

Kansas City–based architecture firm Populous has unveiled plans to bring a modular 10,000-seat North American Soccer League (NASL) professional soccer stadium to the north San Diego County city of Oceanside.

The new $15 million stadium is being designed for San Diego 1904 F.C., a proposed NASL team that is scheduled to make its major league debut with the 2018 season. The proposed stadium is billed as an expansion to the existing SoCal Sports Complex (SCSC), a 22-field youth soccer facility known for hosting large summer tournaments. The new stadium will occupy a parking lot site  where SCSC has erected temporary grandstands for international youth tournaments in the past, San Diego Union Tribune reports. Portions of the site were previously used as a sand mine.

A rendering of the prefab construction complex depicts seating bleachers wrapped in decorative, ocean-inspired cladding surrounding the soccer pitch. The complex is depicted with an undulating steel canopy shading the seats overhead. An access ramp, permanent concession stands, and bathroom facilities will be included in the development as well. The latter elements will be designed for use by the youth leagues even when the professional stadium is not in operation, as the SCSC complex currently lacks permanent bathrooms and concessions stands.

GL Events, a foreign firm responsible for several of the temporary venues erected in conjunction with the 2012 Olympics in London, England, is also on board the project. GL Events and Populous aim to begin construction on the stadium in September 2018. Because of the prefabricated nature of the development, construction is expected to only take four months.

The complex will add to the region’s growing list of soccer venues, as competing ballot initiative–fueled plans for new stadia in the Downtown San Diego area ramp up ahead of proposed 2018 elections, 10 News reports. Populous is also designing one of those proposals, which consists of a joint proposal with a Major League Soccer team and San Diego State University. The future of those two projects will be decided at the ballot box next year.

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