On December 22 the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) announced that the Wine Country was getting its own soccer team. The new brand was unveiled at RaeSet Asian Grill and Craft Brew – the team’s fan headquarters – on Wednesday evening, among local dignitaries and local media. In a symbolic gesture of linking the present to the future, two newly-signed members of the team unveiled the team logo along with two of Napa’s local club players from Napa United. The new team, Napa Valley 1839 FC was received well by a packed house.
“1839 is a very historic year for the Napa Valley,” explains owner Arik Housley. “That is the year George C. Yount planted the first wine grapes in the Napa Valley. Our soccer club understands the impact our wine industry has on our community and we wouldn’t be here without it. We embrace our history and pay respect to the wine industry throughout the entire Napa Valley.”
There are four owners of Napa Valley 1839 FC. Josh Goss and Arik Housley are two locals with strong ties to the community. Goss manages his wife’s medical practice, Brittany L. Goss D.O. Inc. and Housley is a local businessman who owns Ranch Markets and Il Posto Trattoria. Jonathan Collura and Michael Hitchcock are sports entrepreneurs from Dallas/Fort Worth. Collura is a financial consultant, starting up his own company, 1836 Capital, LLC and Hitchcock owns Playbook Management International, a sports-based management company.
Michael Hitchcock, who also has experience as an executive at various MLS teams, recognized the branding opportunities a Napa Valley team would have and jumped on the opportunity to join the ownership group. “The Napa Valley is the second-most visited place in California and Northern California is a hotbed for soccer,” added Hitchcock. “We knew that if we were able to develop a strong brand, the quality of soccer was already there to make this special. We’re excited to bring the beautiful game to Napa Valley and provide opportunities for local players to pursue their dreams of playing professional soccer and fans and sponsors the opportunity to support their hometown team, Napa Valley 1839 FC.”
Napa Valley 1839 FC will be playing in the Golden Gate Conference which includes teams in Sonoma County, Oakland, East Bay, and Sacramento. They will play their home games at Memorial Stadium, which hosts Napa’s two largest high school teams, Napa High and Vintage High. “The capacity of Memorial Stadium is 6,400. It is a phenomenal venue, that will showcase the highest level of sport in the Napa Valley,” says Housley.
The inaugural season kicks off in March and the full schedule will be announced soon. Season tickets, sponsorships, and founders’ packages will be available on Napa Valley 1839 FC’s website, www.napanpsl.com.
- Website: napanpsl.com (official page to launch soon)
- Facebook: facebook.com/napavalley1839fc/
- Twitter: @napavalley1839fc
- Instagram: Instagram.com/napavalley1839fc/