The Coast News Group
San Diego Football Club kicks off its yearlong Chrome Ball Tour on Jan. 29 in Oceanside. Courtesy photo
San Diego Football Club kicks off its yearlong Chrome Ball Tour on Jan. 29 in Oceanside. Courtesy photo

San Diego FC kicks off its yearlong Chrome Ball Tour in Oceanside

OCEANSIDE — San Diego Football Club will kick off its Chrome Ball Tour in Oceanside today, where Major League Soccer’s newest team will celebrate the 18 cities in San Diego County with soccer, arts and the community.

“San Diego FC’s Chrome Ball Tour underscores how football thrives throughout San Diego, fostering unity, creativity, and a shared passion that transcends the boundaries of sport,” said Tom Penn, CEO of SDFC. “The tour not only celebrates the beautiful game but also seamlessly weaves together football, art and San Diego’s rich cultural fabric. We are excited for fans to celebrate with us and demonstrate how the spirit of the game resonates with the soul of our city.”

The free event begins at 10 a.m. at the Junior Seau Pier Amphitheater, 301 The Strand N. The Oceanside stop will feature a 40-team street soccer tournament that includes four divisions: men, women, girls youth and boys youth, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Fans will also be treated to live musical performances from Oceanside natives Obed Padilla and John Givez, local food vendors and artist exhibits throughout the day.

Oceanside is just the first stop on the tour, featuring a large chrome ball emblazoned with the team’s crest and the names of the county’s cities. The tour will hit Escondido on Feb. 3, Poway on Feb. 17, and Santee on March 2. The remaining dates are yet to be announced.

“San Diego FC will continue its commitment to the San Diego art community by incorporating local artists from each of the 18 cities into every Chrome Ball Tour stop,” a statement from the club read. “Each tour stop will feature bespoke collectors’ edition swag, including posters and patches designed by local artists. In Oceanside, we are collaborating with local artist Gabriel Medina to bring the event to life.”

People who collect all 18 city badges throughout the year will be entered for a chance to win special prizes and exclusive San Diego FC discounts.

The team will begin play in 2025 at Snapdragon Stadium. The ownership group is led by British-Egyptian billionaire Mohamed Mansour and the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation. The group also includes San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado. The team colors are “chrome and azul.”

The team is building a training facility and youth academy on 28 acres of Sycuan tribal land in El Cajon, land that houses part of the Pine Glen Golf Course and the Singing Hills Hotel. It will include a Right to Dream residential youth development academy, the first of its kind in the United States.

The 125,000-square-foot campus will include a 50,000-square-foot sports performance facility and the renovation of 10 existing hotel buildings that will be repurposed for student housing, the Right To Dream school, employee housing/offices and guest accommodations.

It will also include five full-sized soccer fields — three natural turf and two synthetic turf.

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