Three years ago marked the birth of the Arizona United SC, now known as the Phoenix Rising FC. On March 25th, they hosted their first home game of the season in their new stadium after spending quite some time playing in non-permanent locations. Ever since the club was born, they have been bouncing back and forth between Peoria Sports Complex and Scottsdale Stadium to host their home games.
Currently, Phoenix Rising FC is playing in the United Soccer League, a Division II league just under Major League Soccer. The league consists of 30 teams, all of which are within the United States and Canada.
Although the team fell to Toronto FC II 1-0, the club was victorious in another way by completely selling out their first official home game in their new stadium. Saturday may have been counted as a loss on their record, but it was still a very special and exciting night in Arizona.
Thanks to the Arizona soccer fans, the club broke their previous attendance record and set the new attendance record at 6,890 people!
Rumors are that the owners are maneuvering their way into getting Phoenix Rising FC adopted as a Major Soccer League expansion team. If this idea is generated into reality, then Phoenix Rising FC could be looking to expand their new stadium to about 30,000 seats.
Before fans in Arizona get too excited, there are several criteria that the MLS must consider before awarding the club the affiliation. The criteria are: “owners must be committed to MLS and have the financial capital to invest in a team, a stadium must be provided and approved that allows the team to control revenue streams, the size of the market of the metropolitan area, and at last an established local fan base.”
My advice to the local soccer fans that would like to see the Phoenix Rising become a Major Soccer League expansion team would be to keep breaking records. Keep going out there, support your team and engage in the festivities and excitement!
From the words of Berke Bakay after the first home game, “A stadium is just a building, but you (the fans) truly brought it life.”
About the Author: Cody Lockley is a senior Sports Management major at Old Dominion University. The area of sports that he is most fascinated in is the scouting and recruiting aspect within the collegiate and professional level. He’s also interested in sports tourism, event management, sponsorships, promotions, and social networking. His ultimate dream job is to be a sports agent one day.