Sockers to call fairgrounds home
The San Diego Sockers are kicking it down the road to the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
The professional indoor soccer team, which last played at the San Diego Sports Arena in 2004, has signed an agreement to play its 2009 and 2010 seasons at an indoor/outdoor arena being rebuilt at the state-owned fairgrounds.
The deal was announced Wednesday at the monthly meeting of the 22nd District Agricultural Association, the state agency that operates the fairgrounds as well as the Del Mar Horsepark.
Paul Blaney, the fairgrounds’ events manager, said the owners of the reformed Sockers are excited about the prospect of playing in the cozy, 3,500-seat arena in Del Mar, as opposed to their former home at the 13,000-seat Sports Arena.
“They’re the most successful indoor soccer team in history,” Blaney said, referring to the 10 soccer championships the team won when it played in the Major Indoor Soccer League and the North American Soccer League, both of which are now defunct.
The newly reformed Sockers are playing for the Premier Arena Soccer League, which has 54 teams in 10 divisions across the United States. The team is scheduled to play six home games at the Del Mar arena in 2009 and six more the following year.
The Sockers played their first indoor season at the Sports Arena in 1980 and won their first indoor title in 1982.
The fairgrounds agency is spending $14 million to upgrade an aging horse arena, including adding a 76,267-square-foot roof and paving the dirt surface with concrete. The project is expected to be finished in March 2009.
The arena seats 3,552 people but can hold up to 9,000.
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