San Diego MLS is building a training facility and youth academy on 28 acres of Sycuan tribal land in El Cajon, becoming the first professional sports organization to establish a dedicated professional training facility on a tribal reservation, the team announced today.
The project will be built on land that currently houses part of the Pine Glen Golf Course and the Singing Hills Hotel, and will feature a Right To Dream residential youth development academy, the first of its kind in the United States.
“We couldn’t ask for a more perfect location for our training facility and Right to Dream Academy,” San Diego MLS Tom Penn said. “This land is absolutely beautiful — rich with tradition and heritage — which will give us the foundation to achieve our vision to become the epicenter of football excellence and innovation in North America. We are grateful for the unwavering support of our Club ownership Mr. Mohamed Mansour and Sycuan.”
The 125,000-square-foot campus will include a new 50,000-square-foot state-of-the-art 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, including three natural turf fields and two synthetic turf fields; open-air training areas surrounded by the natural beauty of the Sycuan tribal land; and infrastructure improvements.
Added Cody Martinez, Sycuan Tribal Chairman, “The establishment of the San Diego MLS
training facility and youth academy right here on our reservation represents a powerful
convergence of our shared passions and our commitment to the San Diego region. We are
immensely proud of what this moment represents. It signifies a new chapter in the story of the Sycuan Tribe and San Diego—a chapter where we come together through our shared love for soccer to build a brighter future for our youth, our city, and our tribe. For the Sycuan Tribe, this venture underscores our deep roots in the San Diego community. “
Officials said the academy will accommodate students between the ages of 11- 18, spanning grades 6 through 12. The Singing Hills Hotel will be repurposed to accommodate youth academy dormitories and classroom facilities that will provide education for students living on campus.
Groundbreaking is scheduled for November, when renderings of the facilities will be unveiled and details of the Right To Dream model will be further explained.