Disappointment for local soccer fans: Wednesday’s home opener for the Washington Spirit’s National Women’s Soccer League team has been moved to Houston, because Segra Field, in Leesburg, Virginia, doesn’t meet league stadium standards, says the team’s managing partner.
In 2019, 5,000-seat Segra Field opened as part of the soccer complex owned and operated by D.C. United. The Major League Soccer team plays its home games at Audi Field in the District of Columbia. Eventually, the Virginia complex will include training facilities for D.C. United.
Loudoun United, a second-division men’s soccer team, and Old Glory DC rugby have hosted games at Segra. Teams use portable locker room modules, and fans have relied upon portable toilets.
“Commissioner Lisa Baird issued us a letter stating that the May 26 match needed to be moved to a different venue because Segra Field is not compliant with NWSL stadium requirements,” Spirit managing partner Steve Baldwin said in a statement Sunday. “We asked D.C. United if they could hold the May 26 game at Audi Field, an open date for the venue, and they said no.
“The Washington Spirit will accept nothing less than world class facilities for players and fans, and we apologize for the burden these circumstances have caused for Spirit Nation, our players, and staff. We are very disappointed in this outcome,” said Baldwin.
In a statement, Segra Field officials said they “have been working diligently” to ready the stadium.
“The stadium, which has already hosted both United Soccer League and Major League Rugby season, was on track to comply with all NWSL Stadium Standards, despite a construction timeline severely hampered by the global pandemic,” according to the Segra Field statement. “We are disappointed at the decision to move the game to Houston, we look forward to welcoming the Washington Spirit and their fans back to Segra Field on July 2 and for years to come.”
Public water lines are in place surrounding stadium — crews are tying it in to locker room and restroom modules. pic.twitter.com/ptkQVqw5q7
— Neal Augenstein (@AugensteinWTOP) May 24, 2021
Work crews are working to tie in public water lines to restroom trailers that will replace portable toilets and to install running water to the locker room modules.
The Spirit’s next home game, June 6, was previously scheduled to be played at Audi Field. The scheduled July 2 game at Segra Field is against the Chicago Red Stars.