The United Soccer League (USL) announced the addition of a new League One expansion team ― the Santa Barbara Sky Football Club ― at the Moxi children’s museum this Tuesday.
Sky FC unveiled its colors and crest at the event and will begin play in 2024.
Peter Moore, former CEO of Liverpool FC in England’s Premier League, is the team’s founding investor and brings years of executive experience in sports and gaming with Reebok, Sega, Microsoft, and EA Sports, among others.
“Soccer unites communities. With that as our mission, I am proud and honored to announce that we are bringing men’s and women’s USL soccer to Santa Barbara,” said Moore, who is also creating the Santa Barbara Professional Soccer Foundation. “We are a true American soccer town. We are a diverse but united community; we need and deserve a local professional soccer club that can compete on a national level.”
Impacting more than 200 communities, the United Soccer League is the largest professional soccer organization in North America. It is the first and only soccer organization in the United States to build a youth-to-professional pathway for both women and men within one ecosystem.
“Sport teams hold a special place in the community. They really are a community asset, and that’s because with a professional sports team and what we’re going to have in Santa Barbara every week the community comes together as one to support their club,” said USL Chief Operating Officer Justin Papadakis. “Every game is a two-hour commercial for the amazing city that you have here.”
Santa Barbara Sky FC will play its home matches at La Playa Stadium on the campus of Santa Barbara City College (SBCC). The iconic ocean views and proximity to downtown make La Playa Stadium an attractive location for professional soccer and the goal is that the club’s partnership with SBCC will provide benefits for students, local businesses, and the facility itself.
“If you had to play soccer anywhere, is there a more beautiful place on the entire planet?” said Santa Barbara Mayor Randy Rowse. “I’m not thinking so much about the revenue from the outside. I’m thinking about the amenity for the people who already live here. This brings excitement. This is a way for the children, who all play soccer now, to look up, both boys and girls, and see what could be.”
Santa Barbara Sky FC will kickoff in 2024. Fans interested in placing a deposit on tickets can visit santabarbaraskyfc.com.