DEVELOPMENT: Frontwave Arena Designed for Multiple Uses
July 31, 2023
Plans for an $85 million soccer stadium in Oceanside have been expanded, with a revised design that will make Frontwave Arena suitable for a variety of sporting events that might eventually include hockey and provide North County with its first major concert venue.
“The project has turned into a full, multi-use facility, more of a sports arena. Our project is going to have the ability to put on very high-scale, live entertainment as well as more sports as well as community events,” said Josh Elias, co-founder, and COO of Frontwave Arena. “It’s a much different arena when you’re looking at an entertainment facility than when you’re looking at a typical sports arena.”
A new contractor, Level 10 Construction, has been brought on to finish the arena in the 465-acre El Corazon section of Oceanside.
As of late July, the arena was about 50% complete, with a target of opening in 2024 as the new home for the San Diego Sockers, according to Elias.
“It’s looking more and more like an arena every day,” Elias said, adding that he expected that the steel work that forms the skeleton of the arena and its roof will be done by mid-August. “It has structure now.”
Frontwave Credit Union, based in Oceanside, bought the naming rights for the arena in June 2022.
The 170,000-square-foot arena will have seating capacity for 7,500 persons, and a 15,000-square-foot outdoor plaza with room for 1,500 persons.
“We’ll have the ability to scale down the (arena) bowl to accommodate smaller size concerts, as well as banquets, private events, really the ability to use this facility in a number of different ways more than was (originally) planned,” Elias said, adding that “really anything can happen here – graduations, sporting events – it is an open facility for everybody.”
The arena is adjacent to 22 outdoor soccer fields, and Elias envisions that the plaza will be used by people using the fields.
“Our goal is to support the massive number of people that attend the soccer events,” Elias said. “Our plaza will be very busy. We’ll have food and beverage seven days a week.”
The arena also will include 16 luxury suites, eight bars, three VIP viewing decks, two lounges, and an open-air patio.
The construction of the arena is especially challenging because it involves three cranes working at the same time in a complicated dance to install steel beams that will span the arena, supporting its roof, said Mike Conroy, vice president of Level 10 Construction.
“It’s really a unique steel erection process that require four cranes out there and three man-lifts,” Conroy said, referring to trucks that have buckets that can be raised and lowered.
Workers in the buckets attach the steel beams to each other and the arena walls across a 200-foot-span to form the arena roof.
“The iron workers get up there and make the connections to the steel while it’s being held together by the cranes,” Conroy said. “It’s a little more complicated and riskier than an office building.”
There’s also a complex rigging system for lights and audio-visual equipment that must be installed hanging from the arena ceiling, Conroy said.
“This is a really exciting project that we’re really pleased to be part of,” Conroy said.
When it’s completed, Frontwave Arena will fill a longtime goal of North County officials to have a major sporting venue.
“There’s really nowhere in North County that is able to offer these types of spaces today,” Elias said.
Founded: 2021 Headquarters: Oceanside COO and Co-founder: Josh Elias Business: Sports and Entertainment Complex Employees: 50 Website: https://frontwavearena.com Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Notable: The new multi-purpose arena in Oceanside has a capacity for 7,500 fans and features sightlines from every seat and an intimate bowl design to bring fans closer to the action.
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