XL Soccer World

Ciaran McArdle is from England and he loves soccer. He loves it so much that he and his business partner dreamed up a business that would help make soccer more appealing and accessible here in the U.S.  The first step was to host tours and camps so teams, or individual fans could travel and see soccer played at some of the highest levels in England and the rest of Europe. But that wasn’t enough, and Ciaran saw the need for more facilities to help athletes young and old to not just see and learn the game, but to improve and develop as players. This vision brought him to Orlando and ultimately to Mercantile Capital Corporation.

The XL Soccer facilities in Orlando were designed with both indoor and outdoor fields, as well as a restaurant, bar, and rooms for events (parties, team meetings, etc.). As Ciaran and his partner explored financing options for this endeavor, they learned about the SBA 504 loan and saw how beneficial it would be for their business. By putting less money down, they’d have more capital on hand to grow XL in other ways. And with a long-term, below-market, fixed interest rate, they’d have more control over their real expenses and be able to better plan for growth down the road. They chose us do the loan, we were honored to work with them, and in 2011 we helped XL acquire and renovate their soccer facility here in Orlando.

XL Bar and Restaurant

Success in the Orlando market and demand for indoor soccer facilities throughout the East Coast has lead us to provide financing for six more projects (for a total of seven) to date: Saco, ME (2012); Midlothian, VA (2013); Apex, NC (2015); Hatfield, PA (2016); Atlanta, GA (2017); and Raleigh, NC (2017). Each of these projects involved the acquisition and renovation of existing facilities. Something you may or may not know is that there’s a cap on how many SBA dollars a small business owner is allowed to get. It’s not uncommon for us to finance multiple facilities/locations for a single business (we’ve done four locations for a daycare in Orlando as well, for instance), because smart business owners realize the benefits of owning commercial property and doing it with 504 financing. But seven loans is more than normal and a little out-of-the-ordinary, and that’s because Ciaran used the “green” loan provision in the SBA regulations.

That provision allows businesses that go green (at least 10% of the energy used coming from a renewable energy source) to increase the cap on SBA dollars for the business owner, the $5 million aggregate cap on SBA financing is waived and they can obtain multiple SBA loans. An added benefit is the borrower can also increase the maximum 2nd mortgage on each loan from $5 million to $5.5 million.

Since Ciaran already makes improvements and rebrands each facility he purchases, he builds-in eco-friendly features that are beneficial for the environment allowing him to qualify for the SBA’s Green 504 provision. Things like reduced energy consumption, increased use of sustainable designs, reduced use of fossil fuels, reduced use of non-renewable resources, and use of renewable fuels make projects “green” under the SBA regulations.


“It’s been great working with Mercantile for the past 7 years. They gave us a chance when other banks wouldn’t. Everything has been seamless, they have stuck with us, and have been successful getting all of our deals done. Through the process we have become great friends, and I also want to thank them for supporting our Kicking Kids’ Cancer foundation.”
— Ciaran McArdle / Owner, XL Sports World

So is unlikely for us to provide financing for seven different projects for one business owner? Highly. Is it impossible? No way. We’re really proud to have helped Ciaran and XL Soccer do the things they’ve done. We’ve had a wonderful working relationship and we’re honored that Ciaran would continue to trust us with financing his soccer facilities. If you or your clients or someone you know is looking for small business commercial real estate financing AND a trusted partner to provide the loan (or loans), contact us today.

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