NASL announces new club in Oklahoma City

Rayo OKC to begin play in 2016
Nov 10, 2015

La Liga’s Rayo Vallecano de Madrid has teamed up with local businessman Sean Jones to bring a North American Soccer League (NASL) club to Oklahoma City. Rayo OKC will begin play in the 2016 NASL Spring Season.

The club unveiled its official name, crest, and red and white color scheme at a press conference in Yukon, Okla. on Tuesday afternoon. The name, Rayo OKC, directly reflects its unique partnership with Rayo Vallecano de Madrid, which becomes the first ever La Liga side to invest in a pro soccer club in North America.

“Our launch of Rayo OKC is another groundbreaking addition to the international soccer community,” said NASL Commissioner Bill Peterson. “The club’s unique partnership with Rayo Vallecano de Madrid highlights the global nature of the game and the global vision of the league. Rayo OKC will be the first American club able to take advantage of the expertise of La Liga to identify top players and build its roster accordingly.”

Raúl Martín Presa, owner of Rayo Vallecano since 2011, will be the majority owner of the Oklahoma City club. Under Martín Presa’s leadership, Rayo has seen steady growth on and off the field, remaining in Spain’s top tier for all five seasons. La Liga is widely regarded as one of the strongest leagues in Europe, with 15 UEFA Champions League titles under its belt. Two of its franchises – Real Madrid CF and FC Barcelona – are ranked among the most valuable sports franchises in the world.

“Pro soccer fans in Oklahoma have just been served up a true winner,” Peterson said. “With what will be an incredibly strong connection to the La Liga side in Madrid, Rayo OKC will set the competition bar even higher across North America. The potential this partnership brings to the game is unmatched, and we believe that fans in Oklahoma just got a front row seat to the next level of soccer in this country.”

Oklahoma native Sean Jones joins Martín Presa as the club’s minority owner. Jones owns and operates The Broadway Clinic, Mariposa MedSpa, and several other Oklahoma City area healthcare companies. He also owns Oklahoma City FC, which advanced to the 2015 WPSL Final Four this past summer.

Sold Out Strategies, co-owned by local sports executives Brad Lund and DeBray Ayala, will serve as managing partners for the expansion club. Lund and Ayala have over 40 years of combined experience in sports management and marketing in Oklahoma City, most notably serving as the lead executives for the Oklahoma City Blazers (1992-2008). Former Blazers executive Eric Newendorp has been named the team’s general manager. Newendorp has over 20 years of sales and marketing experience in professional sports, most recently with the WNBA’s Tulsa Shock.

“Our philosophy is simple - this is the fan’s team...on-and-off the field,” said Lund. “It’s an honor for our brand to be alongside many of North America’s most cosmopolitan cities,” said Martín Presa. “We look forward to putting a world-class team on the pitch in Oklahoma City.” Oklahoma City’s NASL club will play its home games at Miller Stadium – a new $17 million facility - on the campus of Yukon High School. The stadium has fixed seating of 6,500, and has the ability to expand to 11,000 for pro soccer games. Miller Stadium features a split-level press box for working media and private suites for guests. The stadium also has a large video board on the north end, a 24,000-square-foot wellness center, and an on-site parking capacity of 2,500 spaces.

As part of Tuesday’s announcement, Rayo OKC unveiled individual game ($12 to $40) and season ticket packages ($189 to $510). A $50 deposit is required to secure season tickets, and seat locations will be defined based on the date the deposit is received.

For more information on Rayo OKC, visit RayoOKC.com or call (405) 232-RAYO(7296).