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PCSC In The News

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PCSC In The News

The following are various media articles and segments that the Paradise Coast Sports Complex was featured in.


February 7, 2024 – Hospitalitynet.org

A Focus on Sports in Naples Attracts a Younger Demographic

The Paradise Coast Sports Complex, Naples’ premier sports and special-events venue, opened in December 2020 and has been ramping up operations and expanding since. The 180-acre venue features eight multi-use fields (for soccer, lacrosse, and football), a stadium, and six sand volleyball courts as athletic facilities. Event, entertainment, and recreational spaces at the complex include the Great Lawn and Great Lawn Amphitheater, the Factory outdoor fitness facility with the MoveStrong obstacle course, and the Cove beer and wine bar. Phase III of development is currently underway. A ninth field and eleven diamond fields for baseball and softball are expected to open by 2025.

Hotels in the vicinity of the sports complex are realizing the benefit of its presence, particularly through average rate increases. Since Paradise Coast’s 2020 opening, average rates have far surpassed historical levels, and local hotel operators have noted an increase in youth and adult sports teams booking multi-night stays. Furthermore, concerts and other community events have prompted overnight visitation from Florida residents outside of the immediate local market. These visitors also take advantage of the entertainment facilities of the complex.

Moreover, the area surrounding Paradise Coast Sports Complex (known as the Golden Gate Innovation Zone) is growing, as supporting businesses take advantage of county incentives and the popularity of the venue. A Great Wolf Lodge, a resort featuring an indoor waterpark and other family-friendly attractions, is currently under construction and is expected to open in October 2024. An ECHO Suites Extended Stay by Wyndham is expected to be constructed by 2026.

The anticipated expansion of the sports complex and addition of new hotel inventory coincides with the entrance of the newest League One club, USL Naples, to the United Soccer League in 2025. While bringing a soccer club to the area has been in the works for many years, the January 2024 announcement has come at a perfect time for Collier County, as its sports complex ramps up and gains recognition among both visitors and locals. This addition is expected to help draw younger generations of tourists and residents; a local professional sports team is an especially important feature for millennials and Gen Zers. With 32 regular-season games scheduled for 2025 between March and November (16 of which will be hosted at Paradise Coast Sports Complex), hotel operators are anticipating an uptick in visitation from younger travelers during an off-peak period in this market.

Our work within local markets empowers us to conduct primary interviews with key market participants. This approach ensures we obtain real-time insights and current data for each market we operate in. We update our forecasts monthly. For more information about the Naples market or for help making informed investment decisions that align with your goals and risk tolerance, please contact Hannah McManus via LinkedIn or email.

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– Hannah McManus, Project Manager, Tampa – Hospitalitynet.org

Bob Moreno

January 18, 2024 – Florida Weekly

New Expansion Club Bringing Professional Soccer Franchise To Naples –

Professional soccer is coming soon to the Paradise Coast. The United Soccer League (USL) announced it has awarded a USL League One franchise to Naples. USL Naples will begin play in 2025, led by a world-class ownership group with decades of experience in the global sports industry and investments in North American and European sports leagues. The team will call the Paradise Coast Sports Complex home. “In creating a winning plan for USL Naples, we’ve consulted with advisors and investors to bring the highest quality of professional soccer with a family-friendly environment to the region,” said USL Naples CEO Roberto Moreno. “We are committed to growing with the local community, so that our players become a source of pride and inspiration for our friends and neighbors.” USL Naples aims to establish a team that reflects Collier County’s diverse residents and business community, while supporting the next generation of local athletes. With the Azzuri Storm youth soccer club and Naples United of the NPSL, soccer has been an integral part of this region for many years. “We are thrilled to welcome USL Naples and Southwest Florida to professional soccer,” said Justin Papadakis, USL Deputy CEO & Chief Real Estate Office. “With a deeply committed, forward thinking ownership group led by Roberto Moreno, a state-of-the-art facility in the Paradise Coast Sports Complex, and a history of excellence in youth soccer, Naples is poised for immediate and long-term success as a soccer city. This new club will represent Naples and Collier County on a national and international stage and be a catalyst for both culture and business.” USL Naples states it is committed to involving the community in shaping the club. The club will host listening sessions and community-focused events throughout 2024 to connect with fans of all ages and perspectives. USL Naples will develop its name, crest, and colors – the spirit of the team – to authentically reflect the people and the place that make the Paradise Coast unique. “The addition of a professional soccer club to our community will place Southwest Florida in front of soccer fans around the country, diversifying our tourism base, supporting local businesses, and offering a healthy entertainment experience for our residents,” said Collier County Commissioner Chris Hall. Now entering its sixth year, USL League One will kick off the 2024 season in March, featuring 12 teams and live coverage of every match via national media partners such as CBS Sports. A robust, strategic expansion plan will see the league double in size within the next five years along with several new soccer-specific stadiums. United Soccer League oversees three men’s leagues (USL Championship, USL League One, USL League Two), and two women’s leagues (USL Super League, USL W League). Pictured here is the Charlotte Independence of USL League One. The Paradise Coast Sports Complex will serve as home to the USL Naples team. Opened in 2019, the 160-acre complex is anchored by PCSC Stadium, which boasts great views from every seat, designated family areas, VIP suites and cabanas, and multiple dining options and a capacity of 5,000 for soccer. The Complex also includes eight other professional level synthetic turf fields and on-site recreation and entertainment areas. “We are honored to partner with a league of distinction and excited to showcase the Paradise Coast Sports Complex in national professional competition,” said Adrian Moses, general manager of Paradise Coast Sports Complex. “From first introduction, USL Naples has demonstrated that success for them is not only on the field, but also in the community at large.” Fans are invited to meet the operating and ownership group during its kick-off party on Saturday, Jan. 27, from 3 to 5:30 p.m. at the Paradise Coast Sports Complex. The afternoon will feature games, prizes, food trucks, and goodie bags for the first 500 people. Guests will also be given the first opportunity to contribute to USL Naples’ brand identity by signing up for community engagement sessions. This event is free and open to the public. Learn more about this event and register for fan updates at www.uslnaples.com.

– Florida Weekly Staff

Fox4 News

January 17, 2024 – Fox4 News

GOALLLLLLLL! Naples Is Getting Its First Professional Soccer Team

NAPLES, Fla. — The United Soccer League (USL) is bringing a soccer team to Naples at its new $150 million stadium at the Paradise Sports Complex. USL 1 has teams all over the country, in cities like Charleston and Knoxville for the southeast, but now this new team in Naples, a smaller metropolitan area compared with most other teams, is one the county wants to make work. “Our vision is not just to create a championship-winning team, but to establish a legacy that resonates with the pride and identity of a vibrant town,” said Roberto Moreno, CEO of USL Naples. “With an already active and growing sporting community, Naples and Collier County deserves and craves a family-friendly professional sports experience.” On Wednesday, soccer fans, executives and some of the county’s leaders celebrated as they kicked off this new chapter in sports and entertainment for the town. Chris Hall, a Collier County Commissioner and supporter of the project, is confident in the positive economic impact it will bring. “These guys are putting their heart and soul into this team and they’re going to create a culture and an image that number one, we can be proud of number two, that people will come from all over the country to see,” said Hall. For Collier County, tourism is a top economic driver and we already see it with youth soccer tournaments. However, professional soccer is an entirely different culture. Hall says the club has a seven-year commitment with the option to extend. The stadium will bring pitch-side seating, VIP suites and a 360-degree walkable viewing experience. “Look, soccer is not just a game. It’s a lifestyle and we want to inspire the next generation to embrace the love for the game and all the values it represents,” said Moreno. With the excitement rallying around this team right now, USL Naples will be hosting a kickoff party for the public on January 27. The team’s inaugural season is set to begin in March 2025, giving them 14 months to get a team, staff and a season in place.

– Bella Line – Fox4 News

NBC2 News

January 17, 2024 – NBC2 News

New Professional Soccer Team, USL Naples, Coming To Southwest Florida

GOLDEN GATE ESTATES, Fla. — Professional soccer is coming to Southwest Florida. For the past couple of years, the United Soccer League has been looking for new markets to bring professional soccer to. So, when the Tampa-headquartered company saw that the Paradise Coast Sports Complex was being built in Golden Gate Estates, they kept Southwest Florida as a possible new location. Now it’s official. The league held an introductory press conference on Wednesday to announce their newest pro club – USL Naples. “Super excited,” USL League One President Lee O’Neill said. “Full of excitement and really looking forward to them joining the League One family.” The new club will compete in USL League One, which is in the third tier of American professional soccer. It is equivalent to the AA in baseball and the ECHL in hockey – the league that the Florida Everblades are in. League One is a perfect platform for young prospects to work on their game and prove they deserve to be in the big leagues, including Southwest Florida players. “The youth players now in Collier County are getting to be counterparts to those professional players and see what it takes to be a professional,” USL CEO Justin Papadakis said. USL Naples will hold its first tryouts this summer, and then begin play in March of 2025. “They’re already highly competitive and want to do well on the pitch, which I think is going to drive a really good entertainment value for everyone involved,” O’Neill said. The season will run from March through November each year. USL Naples will have 20-25 home games per season, each about two weeks apart and all at the Paradise Coast Sports Complex. The matches, home and away, will be streamed on ESPN or CBS, which will bring national exposure to our local community. “It’s a thriving market and a great opportunity for the people of Naples,” O’Neill said. So mark your calendar. Pro soccer is coming to Southwest Florida in 2025. “Naples, get ready for a professional soccer revolution,” USL Naples CEO Roberto Moreno said. USL Naples is separate from the already existing semi-pro soccer team, Naples United FC, that plays at the Paradise Coast Sports Complex. Both clubs will share the field when their seasons overlap. While they are not affiliated with each other or in the same league, some of the Naples United FC players could have the opportunity to sign pro contracts with USL Naples.

– Jaron May – NBC2

Wink News

January 17, 2024 – Wink News

United Soccer League Bringing Expansion Club To Naples

Naples is getting in the game with the newest League One club to the United Soccer League. And the wait won’t be long. The team takes the pitch in 2025. “Soccer overall has an amazing family feel,” USL Naples CEO Roberto Moreno said. “You go to any soccer game. It’s full of families full of kids full of people having fun so I think it’s just meant to be here in Southwest Florida.” Bringing the club to town has been in the works for years, with talks picking up the last two years once the Paradise Coast Sports Complex was up and running. Wednesday’s announcement comes at a perfect time for Collier County. “We’re seeing so many friends and colleagues that just want to live here,” USL Deputy CEO and Chief Real Estate Officer Justin Papadakis said. “And so having this you know the new population moving down is so important. But one thing especially with millennials and Gen Zs is having a pro sports team close to home.” Soccer’s popularity has grown all over Southwest Florida with expansion clubs from USL to MLS Next making Naples and Fort Myers respectively home. USL Naples aims to fuel even more growth with plans of an academy and the goal of providing a way to the professional ranks. “It’s really hard for the game to reach the level it can without being able to see it week in week out,” Papadakis said. “So now families and the youth players can see what professional soccer looks like.” “I think offering that ability from the pathway from youth to pro so people can come to the area, train in the area and stay and play in the area for many years to come,” USL League One President Lee O’Neill said. What could fans expect when they pack the stands in 2025?  “We’re going to institute a philosophy of fast-paced play,” Moreno said. “We’ll recruit players both locally internationally and nationally around the country to start building the squad.”

– Zach Oliveri – Wink News

Bob Moreno1

January 17, 2024 – Naples Daily News

United Soccer League One To Bring Pro Team To Naples’ Paradise Coast Sports Complex in 2025

Professional soccer is coming to Collier County. The United Soccer League announced Wednesday that USL Naples has been awarded a United Soccer League One franchise, delivering the professional version of the world’s most popular sport to the region for the first time. The team, which has yet to be named, will begin play at the Paradise Coast Sports Complex stadium in March 2025. USL Naples will play between March and November with home games every other week, along with playing international friendlies throughout the year. USL1 teams will play 32 regular season games followed by playoffs in 2024. “There are very few times when the stars all align to really create something special. This team in Naples will be truly special, and will be a huge community asset,” United Soccer League Deputy CEO Justin Papadakis said. “Having a pro sports team close to home drives so many factors and assets across the board. People have a choice where to live, and so many are looking for a pro sports team. After today, Collier County can check that box.”  “Bringing the first professional soccer team to Naples is a dream realized,” USL Naples CEO Roberto Moreno said. “Our vision is not only to bring a championship team but to establish a legacy and vibrancy. Naples and Collier County deserves and craves a first-class sporting experience. There is no better combination than right here. … Naples, get ready for a soccer revolution.” Moreno said that the first of USL Naples’ community events is a kickoff party set for Saturday, Jan. 27 at 3 pm at Paradise Coast Sports Complex. He also said the squad will be built throughout 2024 in preparation for the team’s first game. Professional soccer in the United States is split into two main organizations: the United Soccer League (USL) and Major League Soccer (MLS). USL Naples will compete in USL’s League One, the middle of three men’s leagues that the soccer organization supports throughout the country. USL Championship teams compete in major-market cities like Detroit, Las Vegas, and San Antonio. Florida boasts two USL Championship teams – the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Miami FC. League One sports teams competing in cities like Charlotte, N.C., Chattanooga, Tenn., and Spokane, Wash. Expansion franchises in Brooklyn, Santa Barbara, Calif., and Portland, Ore., are also set to begin play in 2025. That expansion will create 16 teams competing in USL League One – which began play in 2019. The USL targets communities ranging in population from 150,000 to one million – markets that represent more than 75 million people without access to a local professional soccer club – for franchises in League One. The Tampa-based USL also organizes three women’s divisions – USL Super League and the USL W League – and two youth-based initiatives to grow the sport. Papadakis said that the presence of the 180-acre Paradise Coast Sports Complex, and its 3,500-seat stadium, was a critical facet in choosing Naples for a new franchise. “Without Collier County’s vision, not just to build this complex but this state-of-the-art stadium, putting the other pieces of all this together does not happen,” Papadakis said. “We see USL stadiums as community living rooms, where folks can come together week in and week out and be one community. Having this amazing facility to where families and friends can come to witness some amazing soccer is so awesome.” Collier County commissioners Chris Hall, Rick LoCastro, Dan Kowal, Burt Saunders, and Bill McDaniel were all present at Wednesday’s press conference. “The old saying is ‘If you build it, they will come.’ Well, we threw 150 million in taxpayer money at this complex, and they are certainly coming,” Hall said. “The creativity that is behind this entire club – the marketing plans, the team structure – is top-notch. What makes a brand work extremely well is when they win. This ownership group wants to win, and they have the character needed to make this work. “We are completely behind this, and I feel strongly confident that the management team at Paradise Coast Sports Complex will get them everything they need. This is a world-class destination, we have world-class leadership, and now we get a world-class club.”* USL Naples will be hosting community listening sessions in the coming months to allow soccer fans to help choose the franchise’s name, colors and mascot. Games in USL League One are broadcast on ESPN and CBS Sports platforms. “Every game will be a two-hour commercial for Collier County,” Papadaski said “We are really fortunate to have (semi-pro organizations) Naples United and Azzurri Storm, which helped really build the foundation of soccer here and paved the way. Now we get to build on that foundation with professional soccer, and we can’t be more excited.”

2024 USL League One Teams

Central Valley Fuego FC (Fresno, Calif.)

Charlotte Independence (N.C.)

Chattanooga Red Wolves SC (Tenn.)

Forward Madison FC (Wis.)

Greenville Triumph SC (S.C.)

One Knoxville SC (Tenn.)

Lexington SC (Ky.)

Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC (Windsor, Colo.)

Richmond Kickers (Va.)

South Georgia Tormenta FC (Statesboro, Ga.)

Spokane Velocity FC (Wash.)

Union Omaha (Neb.)

2025 USL League One Expansion Teams

Brooklyn FC

Santa Barbara Sky FC
Portland (Maine)
– David Wasson, Naples Dialy News