"The team intends to join the North American Soccer League (NASL), an alternate league to Major League Soccer (MLS)," the press release states. "[It] will compete in the U.S. Open Cup and will host friendly matches, including a pre-season match against the San Jose Earthquakes." The team's first game will be held in February 2017.
As we reported earlier this month, the SF Deltas' plans to move into Kezar were unanimously approved by SF Rec and Park, despite the opposition of the Haight Ashbury Neighborhood Council. According to the Guardian, the city received 1,400 letters of support for the proposal and 23 letters of opposition, so overall, it seems that local residents are in favor of the Deltas' plans (which include footing the bill for $460,000 in renovations to the stadium).
Today's press release contained some new information, including the fact that technology will be part of the experience, "including the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Ticketing and Virtual Reality." The Guardian notes that so-called "smart ticketing" could allow fans to move seats from game to game, based on their needs and moods. Visitors will be able to vote on what food trucks they'd like to see at each match, and, on the player side, virtual reality may be incorporated for sharpening goalkeepers’ reflexes.
“Today is a great day for Bay Area soccer and sports fans alike,” said Deltas CEO Brian Andrés Helmick, who founded the company along with a group of American and Brazilian investors, in the release. “This game—soccer, fútbol, football—is one that unites us all, crossing all boundaries, whether geographical, religious or socioeconomic. Now fans of the world’s largest sport will have an opportunity to experience it played at the highest level, right here in the heart of the city.”
In case you're wondering, there are no renderings yet available for what Kezar Stadium might look like once it's soccer-ready, but we'll keep fans updated on what they can expect come next February.
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