Earlier this year, OL Groupe mentioned it would be investing in a dedicated training center for OL Reign. While that might not become a reality for another year, the club has found a solution for the 2021 season. Starting Wednesday, April 7, OL Reign will begin training on a newly laid grass field at Bellarmine Preparatory School in Tacoma.
The club formalized an agreement with Bellarmine to lease a field in the “Bowl,” the school’s track & field and practice field complex. Thanks to an investment by OL Reign, along with a $50,000 grant from the Names Family Foundation that covered Bellarmine’s costs, the field was recently stripped, leveled, and re-turfed with professional-quality grass. Crews also installed new irrigation and improved drainage for the field.
According to a news post on Bellarmine’s website, OL Reign will have access to the field from 8 AM to 2:30 PM. The club will continue to play competitive matches at Cheney Stadium.
As OL Reign CEO Bill Predmore noted to Ride of the Valkyries, the training field is less than 5 minutes from Cheney Stadium, allowing the club to continue to use its existing locker room and supporting facilities. Players will be transported to and from the field using shuttle buses that were recently acquired by the club.
While Bellarmine Prep will serve the team well in 2021, the club is still looking to build its own permanent training facility. Predmore told Ride of the Valkyries that while they have narrowed it down to a few options, the club wants to take a thoughtful, measured approach, as it will be a substantial investment when they find the right location.
“We’ve been spending a lot of time scouting and evaluating sites, and in some instances looking more at the contract level and doing some initial feasibility work,” Predmore shared. “We need to be very thoughtful about it all. The partnership with Bellarmine Prep has provided us with a fantastic short-term solution and has allowed us to take additional time to plan and execute the construction of a training facility that meets our long-term needs.”