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Spirit to use three home venues in 2020, move out of SoccerPlex in 2021

Spirit at Audi Field (Photo Copyright Erica McCaulley for The Equalizer)

The Washington Spirit announced on Tuesday that the team will play four home games each at Audi Field, Segra Field and the Maryland SoccerPlex in 2020. The Spirit will play seven home games at Audi Field and five home games at Segra Field in 2021, which would mark their first year without a regular-season match at the SoccerPlex since the team’s inaugural season in 2013.

Government officials and Spirit majority owner Steve Baldwin made the announcement in Loudoun County on Tuesday. Segra Field is a 5,000-seat stadium with an artificial turf field located in Leesburg, Virginia. Audi Field is a 20,000-seat stadium with natural grass, inside Washington, D.C., city limits. The Maryland SoccerPlex is located in Boyds, Maryland.

Baldwin said the Spirit will offer location-specific ticket packages, as well as offering round-trip transportation from Germantown, Maryland, to respective games at Audi Field and Segra Field. “The Spirit will also begin a program to cover the cost of tolls for fans traveling to Segra Field from outside Loudoun County,” according to a press release.

“In 2022, we’ll see what happens,” Baldwin said at the press conference. He continued: “I want to be transparent with everybody. Our objective for our players is to have them play on the biggest stage possible every single match. So, Audi Field is that destination.”

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The Spirit set a team record attendance of 19,871 fans at Audi Field on August 24 in one of two games at the stadium in 2019.

The Spirit will continue training at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Montgomery County, Maryland, in 2020 but in 2021 will move their training base and operations to Loudon County, Virginia, where MLS’ D.C. United is building a training facility. Baldwin said he’s committed to hosting a preseason game at the SoccerPlex each year beyond 2020.

Baldwin said players were consulted during the process, including in regards to playing on turf, and they are “fully supportive of the decision.” The Spirit will have their own locker room at Audi Field.

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Posted by Washington Spirit on Tuesday, November 12, 2019


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