On September 13, the tandem of Oakland Soul and Oakland Roots became the latest club to launch a community investment initiative that allows supporters to own a stake in the teams.
And within mere hours of launch, the investment round surpassed $1 million thanks to more than one thousand supporters who donated.
While community ownership initiatives are not entirely new in U.S. soccer, this one stands out as the most ambitious to date.
In 2021, Minnesota Aurora raised $1 million through a community investment campaign that was supported by over 3,000 people. In 2020, Detroit City FC opened up a 10% stake in the club to supporters through a $1.2 million round of community investing. And in 2019, Chattanooga Football Club brought in a little more than $870,000 by welcoming in community owners.
Oakland is aiming to raise $2 million during this investment round, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see that number go even higher. SEC regulations limit investments like this to $5 million total.
With this new infusion of support, the club’s ambitious plans include growing their youth development program, elevating Oakland Soul into the fully-professional USL Super League, and completing real estate projects, including a 10,000+ seat stadium.
It’s a bold vision, sure. But given the desire for pro sports in Oakland, and the fact that these two clubs are committed to staying local and growing local, nothing is out of reach for the club.
For anyone who has been to a match in Oakland, it’s easy to understand why they are one of the most unique clubs we have in the sport here in the U.S. Pregame tailgates with supporters feature the music, the food, and the style that Oakland as a city has long been known for… and that you honestly can’t get anywhere else.
Located in a region known for its character and community pride, both the Oakland Soul and Oakland Roots have created the space for their supporters to build a culture that reflects the diverse and energetic style of the region.
So it’s only fitting that the supporters who have helped build Oakland into a role model for soccer culture, now get to own a piece of its future.