Set to play home matches at La Playa Stadium on the campus of Santa Barbara City College (SBCC), Santa Barbara Sky FC is set to launch both men’s and women’s squads in 2024, including a USL League One team.
Former Liverpool FC CEO Peter Moore is the club’s founding investor, bringing years of executive experience in sports and gaming with Reebok, Sega of America, Microsoft (Xbox), and EA Sports, among others.
“Soccer unites communities. With that as our mission, I am proud and honored to announce that we are bringing men’s and women’s USL soccer to Santa Barbara,” said Moore, founder of Santa Barbara Sky FC and Santa Barbara Professional Soccer Foundation, via press release. “We are a true American soccer town. We are a diverse but united community; we need and deserve a local professional soccer club that can compete on a national level.”
“We are so excited to welcome Santa Barbara Sky FC into the USL,” said USL Chief Operating Officer Justin Papadakis, via press release. “This vibrant, diverse city and the surrounding areas have shown a tremendous affinity for the world’s game. Peter Moore is a proven leader in global soccer and sports business. He and his Santa Barbara-based team have captured the passion and essence of this community with a world-class brand and an ambitious vision that will fuel local pride for years to come.”
The club also announced the formation of its philanthropic foundation, “La Fundación del Cielo,” which will support disadvantaged groups in the Santa Barbara community.
Sky FC’s crest depicts the city’s namesake, Saint Barbara, as a symbol of protection, kindness, strength, beauty and history.
“The Santa Barbara Sky FC brand is rich in color and symbolism and is an exquisite representation of our city and its rich and deep cultural roots,” said Peter Young, SVP of Business Development & Marketing. “The colors terracotta and navy blue represent the unique local Spanish-style terracotta rooftops along the backdrop of a deep blue sky. Santa Barbara is a very special place, and we are committed to maintaining and representing its charm and integrity.”
Details regarding Santa Barbara Sky FC’s women’s team will be announced in the coming months.
“We are building something special here in Santa Barbara,” said Sheralyn Baltes, SVP of Technology & Business Operations, via press release. “We are an inclusive, community-driven club deeply committed to providing equal playing opportunities for both men and women. As such, we are excited and proud to launch both professional men’s and women’s teams in 2024. With 40,000 women playing college soccer, the talent pool greatly exceeds the current number of opportunities for women players. We’re going to help narrow that gap while fueling aspirations of girls and boys in Santa Barbara and beyond.”