Oakland Roots SC will play the 2024 USL Championship season at Pioneer Stadium as progress continues to be made toward establishing a new home at the Malibu Lot for the 2025 campaign. | Photo courtesy Oakland Roots SC
OAKLAND, Calif. – Oakland Roots SC announced on Wednesday the club would continue to call Pioneer Stadium on the campus of California State University, East Bay as its home venue for the 2024 USL Championship season as progress continues to be made on the club’s new venue at Malibu Lot, adjacent to the Coliseum located in East Oakland, in time for the 2025 season.
Playing soccer at the Malibu lot in Oakland is set to be discussed at the City Council’s Community and Economic Development meeting next Tuesday, September 12th, following which the matter would proceed to the full City Council.
This season at Pioneer Stadium, Roots SC has drawn some of its largest crowds in club history while establishing an accessible, reliable, and family friendly environment in a beautiful location. The club’s doubleheader event featuring Oakland Roots SC and USL W League club Oakland Soul SC set a new attendance record for the club on May 13, and countless other memories have been made at East Bay this season.
“California State University, East Bay has been tremendously accommodating by making their venue available to Oakland Roots," said Roots and Soul President Lindsay Barenz. “We explored a number of options in Oakland for the final 12 months before we open our own stadium, but each came with a high degree of uncertainty and the potential for more disruption for our fans.
“We came to the conclusion that focusing on having our own venue at the Malibu Lot ready to go for 2025 should be the number one priority.”
Oakland Roots SC has set new club records in attendance this season, including for a historic doubleheader with the USL W League's Oakland Soul SC on May 13 at Pioneer Stadium. | Photo courtesy Oakland Roots SC
Options explored by Roots SC for 2024 included the C Lot at the Coliseum site and a return to Laney College. While the Roots SC and Laney actively explored potential ways to address the field issue, a workable solution was not found in time for the 2024 season. The C Lot at the Coliseum was considered as a potential stopgap solution for one season, however the time, effort, and financial resources required for a one-year solution would set back the Club’s goal of securing a 10-year stadium arrangement at the adjacent Malibu Lot by 2025.
“We want to thank the City, County, and Coliseum Joint Powers Authority for their efforts in making the C Lot an option and for collaborating with us on the broader vision of bringing a professional soccer stadium for Oakland Roots and Soul to East Oakland,” said Barenz. “In our discussions, we learned a lot about operations and schedule coordination in the Coliseum area that will be directly applicable to making the Interim Stadium at Malibu a success.”
Oakland Roots SC is currently seeking an Exclusive Negotiating Arrangement (ENA) with the City of Oakland and the County of Alameda for a lease on the Malibu Lot to be discussed on September 12th. It is anticipated that the City Council and the County Board of Supervisors will each consider authorizing an ENA allowing Oakland Roots, Soul, and Project 51O to have a place to call home in Oakland.
The goal for Malibu is to have a stadium in Oakland at one of the most iconic sporting locations for the next 10 years.