Jumping into 2019, FC Davis has a laundry list of items we want to tackle.
At the top of our list is fan experience, an area we want to improve the most in 2019.
After surveying match attendees throughout the season, one item shot to the top of the agenda: Game Intimacy.
While people loved going to games (we set a conference regular season record of over 10,000 fans), in the end, there was “something” missing.
That “something” could be sensed during the Causeway Clasico, our derby game against the Sacramento Gold.
When Sacramento visited town, we had almost 2,000 people in the stadium. The game was great and everyone in the stands had more than a good time. But with such a large venue it always seemed a bit empty...even with the blow-horns!
In our league, 2,000 fans would create a packed house and an overflow of people at almost every venue across the country. Most organizations would do back-flips for those numbers (we outdrew 7 USL teams) but in the end, in our house it didn’t work.
To us, how fans feel matters the most, so we knew we had to address the issue. But one problem always persisted: How do you shrink a venue?
After talking with operation directors across the country on how to accomplish making a big venue feel smaller, it was unanimous that getting the desired result just isn’t possible.
So, we set out on a search to find a new home while trying answer one question: What is best for our fans and local community?
After doing some research, we knew that adding additions rather than new construction was the way forward. It is a popular model used by sports teams around the country and fits perfect for what can be done in our area.
With a new venue in mind, we wanted to accomplish the following three items:
1. A Consistent Home For FC Davis Men’s AND Women’s Team
Adding a women’s team means you need more dates. When needing more dates, you need an available venue. We want fans to have consistency when coming to games, so finding a place that BOTH teams can call home was important. It never sits well watching women's teams play at lesser venues than their male counterparts, so getting this accomplished was extremely important.
2. More Fan Intimacy
You asked. We delivered. We are talking with the City of Davis in January to discuss plans for adding elements to Playfields over a period of time to turn the venue into the perfect atmosphere for families to watch sporting events, adding yet another asset to our community.
3. A Hub For Our Community
Adding additions to Playfields isn’t just for soccer, but the broader athletic community. It can be used as the central location for adult leagues (not just soccer), lacrosse games, sport camps, Special Olympics, clinics and other community events. The possibilities are endless. The field can turn into a hub of health, wellness and athletics for our youth and adults.
For 2019 and beyond, Playfields Soccer Stadium will be home to Football Club Davis. This coming year, we will have our Family Zone, Gold Zone (with high tables, chairs, and other goodies) alongside Woodstock's serving pizza and beer for everyone at the venue. From the above picture, we are looking to add bleachers (4), two scoreboards (5,7), and professional benches (6) for players and staff. It's a project that will hopefully come to fruition over a three year period.
Seeing this out would give Davis one of the best lower-division soccer stadiums in the country and provide our fans with the intimacy and connection to the game we all crave.
It will also create one heck (family friendly language!) of an environment. One that will inspire kids to say "Hey, that can be me out there!"
We couldn't be more excited about the possibilities this creates for our community. With the addition of a women's team coupled with an array of stadium possibilities, the coming years could alter the soccer and social landscape for the thousands of youth soccer players and soccer lovers in our area.
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We hope to see you on our season ticket holder list starting tomorrow!
GO GO Golden Lions!