CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The Charleston Battery has a new owner.
The team, the oldest continuously-run professional soccer club in the nation, announced the sale at a Wednesday afternoon news conference.
The new owner is HCFC, LLC, according to a release from the organization.
“The Battery are an indelible part of the Charleston community,” Rob Salvatore, who will lead the club’s new ownership, said. “As one of the most historic professional soccer organizations in the United States, this club has brought people throughout the Lowcountry together for decades. As ownership and custodians of the club, we will honor and respect that history while bringing new energy, experience and resources to grow the club’s connection to the community both on and off the field.”
Under Salvatore’s leadership, the club announced it will commence play at the Patriots Point Soccer complex in Mount Pleasant starting next season. More details on the move will be provided in the coming weeks.
“This new venture between the College of Charleston and the Charleston Battery is a tremendous collaboration that will benefit the Towne of Mount Pleasant, the College and soccer fans in the metro-Charleston area,” College of Charleston President Andrew T. Hsu said. “By moving the Battery closer to College facilities – which are closer to downtown – more families, young professionals and students will be able to take in professional soccer matches. The College of Charleston is happy to play a role, a small one at that, in this next chapter of the Battery’s story.”
The Battery have previously won league titles in 1996, 2003, 2010 and 2012, and in 2008 were the most recent lower-division club to reach the final of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. In addition, the club has qualified for postseason play in 12 consecutive seasons, while winning the Southern Derby in four of the last five.
Over the coming the months, Salvatore will embark on a series of community listening sessions with the primary focus of gaining valuable feedback from the community on how the club can further bind itself to the city it represents. More information on those sessions will be made public in the coming weeks.
“The most important thing we can do this offseason is listen,” said Salvatore. “We may own the team, but it belongs to Charleston. It is paramount that we earn and keep the community’s trust. That starts by listening and being transparent.”
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.