Charlotte FC has agreed to break ground on a new training facility and headquarters

Charlotte FC fans cheer in the stands during warms up before a game between the Charlotte FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, May 22, 2022. (Alex Slitz/alslitz@charlotteobserver.com)
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Charlotte FC will open a new permanent training facility and business headquarters by the spring of 2023, the club announced Wednesday morning.

According to club officials, the site will be located at 8600 McAlpine Park Drive and include a “privately-financed 52,000-plus square-foot facility” that features four fields and related facilities, and it will put Charlotte FC’s MLS team, its MLS NEXT Pro team and its academy teams “all under one roof.”

“A permanent training facility and business headquarters for Charlotte FC has been a priority for the club since it was launched, and we’re excited to reach an agreement to bring this to life,” David Tepper, owner of Charlotte FC and the Carolina Panthers, said in a news release. “The timeline for this project was crucial and we’re delighted to deliver a first-class facility to our players and staff in Spring 2023.”

The headquarters will house more than 110 Charlotte FC employees, not including players. One of the four fields will have a synthetic turf surface.

The club is leasing the site from Levine Properties, a family-owned property investment company based in the Charlotte area.

“We’re thrilled to have a permanent home in Charlotte that puts everyone in our organization under one roof,” Charlotte FC Joe LaBue said in a statement. “Staying in the heart of Charlotte allows increased access to our athletes and fields which is a key factor in expanding our impact on the community. The potential for a wide selection of private and public programming on our campus will play a significant role in the growth of the game. We’re excited about our future home and would like to thank Daniel Levine and his team for their assistance in shaping our vision.”

The most recent MLS expansion team, Charlotte FC has been practicing at McAlpine for the past few months. The team said in a release it will immediately begin renovations to the existing structure at the site.

The announcement comes about a month after Tepper Sports and Entertainment pulled out of plans to build a youth academy and soccer fields at the old Eastland Mall site. That change in direction was one of a string of moves made by Tepper over the summer that left Charlotte city council members and residents alike confused.

When TSE officially pulled the plug on the Eastland project, a spokesperson said that the organization immediately began researching “expedited alternatives.” Among those alternatives was the site at McAlpine Park, sources with direct knowledge of the situation told The Observer on Wednesday.

Sources also told The Observer that the completion date at McAlpine — spring 2023 — is “about two years ahead of any other site” the club was looking at. The Eastland Mall site would’ve required building the training facilities from scratch, while the McAlpine site allows Charlotte FC to “substantially renovate what already exists.”

The club announced that the facility’s name, renderings and more will be presented later this fall.