Phoenix Rising plans venue in tourism hotspot


Phoenix Rising FC new stadium Image: Phoenix Rising FC

The United Soccer League (USL) Championship club Phoenix Rising FC (US) has carved out a roadmap to develop a new stadium in the Gila River Indian Community area in Arizona, US. Phoenix Rising will also relocate its training facilities to the Gila River Indian Community.

The new training facility and stadium are slated for completion before the start of the 2021 USL Championship season, which is set to begin on May 1st. The club spent four years discussing possible stadium locations before selecting Wild Horse Pass – Arizona’s newest tourism destination.

The USL is anticipating delaying the start of the 2021 season to give clubs the best chance to play a full season schedule in front of fans as COVID-19 continues with its devastation in the United States.

The Gila River Indian Community is an Indian reservation in the US State of Arizona, lying adjacent to the South side of the City of Phoenix, within the Phoenix Metropolitan Area in Pinal and Maricopa counties.

The Phoenix Rising Football Club is an American professional soccer team based in Phoenix, Arizona. Founded in 2014 as Arizona United Soccer Club, the team is a member of the USL Championship, the second tier of the American soccer league system.

Phoenix Rising, Arizona’s highest-ranked association football team, presently plays its home matches at South Scottsdale’s Casino Arizona Field in Arizona, which can accommodate 6,200 supporters.

Brett M. Johnson, Co-Chairman, Phoenix Rising FC, US, was one of the Speakers at the Coliseum Online Week US Worldwide held from October 19th-23rd, 2020, and is a member of Coliseum, Global Sports Venue Alliance.

The move to the new stadium will increase the club’s seating capacity by more than 35 per cent and also leave room for future expansion for post-pandemic play.

The move will also improve VIP luxury suites, as well as speed up the entire process of ingress and egress from the venue complex. The other additions for the planned arena include an enhanced videoboard, a larger press box, perfect acoustics and a new family-friendly general admission section opposite the lively supporters’ area anchored by two of USL’s top fan groups – Los Bandidos and Red Fury. The expansion plans also include a permanent ticket office, new locker rooms and an on-site administrative office.

Commented Phoenix Rising Governor Berke Bakay, “Since the launch of Phoenix Rising FC in 2016, fan support has been consistently increasing. Prior to COVID-19, 23 consecutive matches at Casino Arizona Field were sold out due to our amazing supporters. This move will immediately increase stadium seating by more than 35 per cent and also provide room for future expansion.”

Stephen Lewis, Gila River Indian Community Governor, added, “The Gila River Indian Community has a history of successful partnerships with many professional and collegiate sports teams in the Valley. We are very much looking forward to having Phoenix Rising be the first to play its games within our community.”

The new stadium site will sit South of Gila River Hotels & CasinosWild Horse Pass near the junction of I-10 and 202 South freeways. The complex will feature multiple paved roads for speedy entry and exit, a paved VIP parking lot and permanent toilet facilities for fans.

The Gila River Indian Community and Wild Horse Pass Development Authority have been hard at work preparing the new stadium and training site for Phoenix Rising FC.

Prior to selecting Wild Horse Pass for its stadium and training facility expansion, Phoenix Rising FC spent the past four years discussing possible stadium locations with many local Governments including Maricopa County, Mesa, Phoenix, the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, Scottsdale and Tempe.

Added Bakay, “We appreciate everyone from these Governments who spent time exploring stadium location options with us. We will be forever grateful to the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community families comprising the Solanna Group for embracing us in 2016 and providing a home on their land for our initial success. We intend to continue working with them well into the future, as their development plans include construction of a multipurpose stadium and more sports fields.”

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