Oceanside city council stops soccer academy development - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Oceanside city council stops soccer academy development

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OCEANSIDE (CBS 8) - Neighbors in Oceanside fought and won against a proposed professional soccer league academy at a public golf course.

The city council terminated plans Wednesday to transition the Center City Golf Course into USL team Real San Diego.

Neighbors chanted, "Save the Goat" at a city council meeting during Wednesday night's public hearing.

Goat Hill, formally known as Center City Golf in Oceanside could have been replaced with a smaller course and a United States Soccer League (USL) with six fields.

"Our goal is to do something good for Oceanside," said Dell Loy Hansen.

He owns Real Salt Lake and now Real San Diego that could have become an $8 million soccer academy with 8,000 seats for a stadium in Oceanside.

The 75 acres of land is public property ran by Goat Hill Partners, LLC who was in negotiations with the city staff to renovate the golf course but talks with city staff stopped in the last few months when the soccer academy surfaced.

"This is a heavy lifter for the youth and a heavy lifter for the community and activities," said Hansen.

The city planned to charge Hansen $12,000 for an annual lease and 5 percent of the revenues would go to the city. Hansen says roughly that could be about $100,000 to $150,000 of new revenue each year.

"The opportunity that we have here to see our city grow is an opportunity that we need to take," said an Oceanside soccer supporter.

Golf supporters outnumbered soccer supporters at the meeting.

"Continue to support a community resource that has been there for a very long time," said a disc golfer.  

The golf course is one of the oldest in San Diego County and is rundown but it is a gem in many eyes including a partner in Goat Hill Partners, LLC.

"Golf is relevant and the park land is the most important thing," said Geoffrey Cunningham.

After a two-hour public hearing and 40 people voicing their concerns council members decided to allow staff to terminate negotiations with Hansen and the soccer academy and return to negotiations on renovations at Center City Golf with Goat Hill Partners, LLC.

A public hearing will be scheduled for a later date on that project.

Hansen was not available for comment on the termination. He left in the middle of the public hearing to drop off players at the airport. They flew in to show support for the academy.

City staff says Hansen also looked at El Corazon and Pavilion property in Oceanside.

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