Manchester City Football Club, in East Manchester, England, recently opened a new facility dedicated to training both current soccer stars and future prospects in the club’s youth teams. The $312 million, four-year project forms a key part of plans both to regenerate the surrounding industrial wasteland and to enhance Manchester City FC’s standing as one of the English Premier League’s top soccer teams.

In addition to 17 pitches and three gyms constructed as part of the new facility, the site includes a 7,000 capacity stadium for the development of squad teams, Manchester City Women’s FC, and community use. Parts of the facility will be reserved for use by local schoolchildren.

“The development of top-notch training facilities by English soccer teams is of prime interest to the United States, given the ever-growing popularity of the sport here and the current interest in developing young talent,” said Eric Willin, COO, of EZFacility, a sports center management software developer in Woodbury, New York. “Teams in the MLS and other U.S.-based soccer outfits will take a cue from facilities such as Manchester City’s new one, and it won’t be long before we start to see more of them here.”

The football club’s project represents part of a larger movement within the soccer world to attract top players with state-of-the-art training facilities