Revolution Sportsplex - Nova FC
Photos by Gregory Koch, Stadium Journey
Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 2.14
Revolution Sportsplex 19623 Evergreen Mill Road Leesburg, VA 20175
Year Opened: 2014 Capacity: 1,500
Lower Tier Soccer in Leesburg, Va.
Nestled in Leesburg, in Loudoun County in the DC suburbs, Nova FC (or Northern Virginia Football Club, to use the full name) competes in USL League Two, the fourth tier of soccer in the United States. USL League Two is primarily an amateur league featuring players 23 or younger, and most players are college-age or have recently exhausted their college eligibility and are hoping to receive a professional contract.
Nova FC plays its home games at the Revolution Sportsplex, the main stadium in the complex. There are also several back fields used for youth soccer. The club's biggest accomplishment was qualifying for the 2022 U.S. Open Cup, where they won their first-round matchup against fellow amateur side Lynchburg FC before falling to professional side Richmond Kickers in the next round. Nova FC also operates a women's team and several lower-tier amateur teams. However, this review is about the men's USL League Two team and their experience at their games.
Food & Beverage 1
Although the Revolution Sportsplex contains both a rooftop bar and a club area, neither is operational for Nova FC games. There are a couple of vending machines that sell food and soft drinks at vending machine prices. Some only take $1 bills and coins while others also take $5 bills. Fans are also free to bring in outside food and drink to eat during the game.
Revolution Sportsplex contains several rows of bleachers with a concourse area at the top as well as a rooftop bar up a flight of steps from the concourse. Although the bar itself is not operational during games, there are chairs and barstools where fans can hang out and watch the game from a unique vantage point. There is not much going on here other than the game itself. Even the PA announcer was not active other than to welcome fans to the stadium and ask them to rise for the national anthem at the beginning.
There were no announcements of goals or cards, making it hard to figure out who was booked by the referee. The seats are close enough to the action and the fans are quiet enough that you can hear everything the players shout at each other and the referees.
Even by soccer purist standards, the experience here is lacking. The true atmosphere at soccer games comes from the fans, not the team, but there is no crowd energy to speak of here. There is no organized Supporters' group, and while the fans applaud after goals, other than that they are almost completely silent. The team does play the song "Doop" after goals, a tradition borrowed from the Philadelphia Union, along with a submarine dive horn to add their unique take on it, but that is the only thing going on here to create any sort of atmosphere, and it's mostly borrowed from another team.
Revolution Sportsplex is located in the middle of a residential area, and there are no restaurants or things to do in the immediate vicinity. Your best bet is to head a few miles into downtown Leesburg, where there are plenty of places to eat, visit, and stay. This can be about a ten-minute drive, but it’s your only option.
The Leesburg Public House and Tarbender’s Lounge are popular places to grab a drink and a bite to eat. Those looking for something other than a bar may want to check out Melt Gourmet Cheeseburgers or the Leesburg Diner, although the latter is only open for breakfast and lunch. There are many good options in Leesburg, but the fact that all of them are so far from the stadium brings this rating down.
Nova FC typically draws a couple hundred fans a game. Some of these fans have a direct connection to the team, but there is also a wide range of other fans, including families with kids who play their youth soccer on the back fields of this complex. It is not uncommon to see children kicking around a soccer ball on the field behind the goal during a game. Other than applauding after goals, the fans who show up are quite subdued. Additionally, as Nova FC typically plays other local teams in its league, a significant portion of the crowd will be visiting fans making the short drive to Leesburg to check out their team.
Revolution Sportsplex has located a short drive off the Dulles Greenway (State Route 267) via Shreve Mill Road, although you will need to pay several dollars in tolls to get here. Once you arrive, parking is in a lot next to the stadium - follow the signs for the main stadium rather than parking by the back fields for easier access. This will put you at the bottom of the bleachers, and you can walk up and sit anywhere as seating is general admission.
Restrooms are located at the top of the bleachers with a second set on the rooftop near the bar. The restrooms are on the other side of the club area from the bleachers, and while the club is not functional during games, it is physically open and fans can walk through it to get to the other side rather than walk around. There is also an elevator to take you from field level to the top of the bleachers and the rooftop area for fans who require one.
Return on Investment 4
Admission is free, parking is free, and the vending machine food won't cost more than a couple of dollars. The main expense will be tolls on the Greenway to get there, which will be between $5 and $9 each way, approximately, depending on where you are coming from and if it is rush hour on a weekday. You can avoid those by taking Route 7 instead, but that is not a highway for most of its length and will take longer. That being said, this is too basic an experience to earn the top score.
Although the rooftop bar itself is not open during Nova FC games, the rooftop area still provides a unique vantage point to watch a game and is worthy of a star here.
Although USL League Two is deep down in the American soccer pyramid, a trip to a Nova FC game at the Revolution Sportsplex can still be an enjoyable way to spend an evening. Although the experience is nowhere near what you'd get in DC at a DC United game or even here in Leesburg at a Loudoun United game at Segra Field, a Nova FC game is much more affordable than either of those would be. For only the price of tolls and maybe bottled water from the vending machine, fans can take in a Nova FC soccer game on a beautiful summer night.