SAN DIEGO — San Diego’s new Major League Soccer team will be opening a pop-up shop in the Mission Valley Mall on Sunday for fans to buy official club merchandise ahead of the holiday season.
The new store, which is called Eighteen Threads after the county’s 18 cities, seeks to build on the early excitement surrounding San Diego Football Club by offering team gear like shirts, hoodies, hats and scarves, a club spokesperson said in a release announcing the storefront.
It will also serve as the official pick-up location for online orders through San Diego FC’s digital store.
“We are excited to bring Eighteen Threads to Mission Valley Mall and quickly create a space for our fans to get their favorite gear for the Holidays,” Tom Penn, CEO of San Diego FC, said in a release on Thursday. “We were thrilled by the overwhelming interest in our merchandise at our brand launch and look forward to engaging with our fans and supporters in this central location.”
The new brick-and-mortar store comes over a month after thousands of fans packed into Snapdragon Stadium — the MLS expansion team’s future home — for the official unveiling of the team name, colors and crest.
Excitement around San Diego FC led to what club officials described as “overwhelming demand” for official team gear.
Fans clamoring to be among the first to snag merchandise set a MLS record for sales at a single-event with the team raking in more than $200,000 in the span of two hours, according to a spokesperson. It even forced the team to temporarily shut down its online store.
“This enthusiastic response underscores the blossoming connection between the Club and San Diego community, and Eighteen Threads aims to further enhance this connection,” a San Diego FC spokesperson said in Thursday’s release.
The pop-up will be in a 1,900-square-foot storefront within the Mission Valley Mall at 1640 Camino Del Rio North. Its daily hours will be Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
However, only a portion of it will be utilized when it opens. Over the next few months, San Diego FC officials say they will integrate interactive activities and games into the rest of the space to help fans connect with the club ahead of its inaugural season in 2025.
The club said it will also introduce a mobile retail experience sometime next year as a way of fostering this relationship with the Chrome and Azul among fans in each corner of the county.
Aside from the new retail expansions, San Diego FC is also making headway on preparations to build the team itself.
Earlier this month, crews broke ground on a cutting-edge, 125,000-square-foot training facility on the Sycuan Reservation in El Cajon — a historic location that is fitting for the first major sports organization in the U.S. to be jointly owned by a Native American tribe.
The team’s training facility will also have a Right to Dream youth development academy, an education and world-class soccer training program for students ages 11 to 18.