The North American Soccer League’s expansion continued Thursday with the announcement of the league’s first West Coast club since its 2009 inception.
Set to begin play in 2017, San Francisco Deltas will be run by CEO Brian Andres Helmick and give the NASL its 13th team. The league’s press release said investors hail from both Silicon Valley and Brazil.
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Commissioner Bill Peterson has stated the league’s goal is to expand to 20 teams, and the NASL added Rayo OKC, Puerto Rico FC and Miami FC in recent months.
Given the collective background of the investment group, as well as the club’s tech-savvy fan base, the Deltas plan to use technology as a tool to better reach and interact with their supporters.
Kezar Stadium, where the Deltas will play beginning in 2017, was the home of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers from 1946-1970. Soccer has been played at Kezar Stadium before, with the legendary Pele once taking the field at the venue. The stadium capacity will be approximately 10,000 when the Deltas take the field for the 2017 NASL Spring Season.
The league’s other teams are Jacksonville Armada, Carolina Railhawks, FC Edmonton, Indy Eleven, Minnesota United FC, Ottawa Fury, New York Cosmos, Tampa Bay Rowdies and Fort Lauderdale Strikers.
The geographic implications are significant as the league attempts to bridge from the Midwest to the East Coast while not crushing a budget with travel. Surely more teams are coming West of the Mississippi.
The NASL kicks off the Spring portion of its 2016 schedule on Saturday. We’ll have an exclusive interview with Peterson later this evening.