Professional soccer is officially coming to Reno in 2017

September 18th, 2015 by Staff

(www.rgj.com)

It’s official: professional soccer is coming to Reno.

United Soccer League President Jake Edwards made the announcement Wednesday at Aces Ballpark with Mayor Hillary Schieve, Gov. Brian Sandoval, Aces Owner Herb Simon and Aces President Eric Edelstein in attendance. The newly-christened expansion team will share a stadium with the Reno Aces and begin play in 2017.

USL President Jake Edwards said when considering where to locate one of the four expansion teams, Reno seemed like an ideal fit.

“Geographically in terms of rivalries with some other clubs in this region,” he said. “The ownership is first class and committed to the long term stability of sports rejuvenation in this part of the city. In terms of the club, we’re in really good hands.”

Edelstein said tickets would be comparable to Aces tickets at between $8 and $30. Season tickets can be reserved right now for a $25 deposit.

“There might be some variations, but it is going to be an affordable ticket,” he said. “We want this to continue to be affordable, family-friendly entertainment.”

The team name will be decided by the public, similar to how the Aces name was chosen, Edelstein said. People can visit USLReno2017.com and click the “Name the Team” link to submit a suggestion.

The team will share a field with the Aces. Sod will be put over the dirt infield for soccer games unlike the Oakland Coliseum, where the baseball field is visible during football games in September.

Simon said the USL approached him for the team and he jumped at the opportunity to bring a club to the city.

“We’ve seen an incredible rise in the health of Reno. I think this just adds to what’s happening,” Simon said. “There’s so many good things happening in Reno after going through that dark period, so we’re excited.”

Sandoval said another professional team coming to Reno adds to its prestige.

“When you look at other teams in the league, we’re talking Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland, Austin, Arizona, Orange County,” he said. “It really puts us on the map with those communities. I think people view communities and regions with professional franchises as they’ve made it.”

That rebirth and reinvention is one of the reasons Edwards said the league decided on Reno.

“As a league we went through that a few years ago,” he said. “We’re very forward facing and ambitious and so is this city. Great things are going to be happening here over the next few years.”

The USL is below Major League Soccer, the preeminent professional soccer league in the United States and Canada, and the North American Soccer League. The league signed a player development deal with MLS in 2013.

Twenty-eight teams from around the country will comprise the league after the expansion is finalized, including Los Angeles, New York City, Pittsburgh, Portland, Sacramento, St. Louis and Seattle. Cincinnatti, Edinburg, Texas; and Lehigh Valley, Penn. were the other three cities given an expansion.

No public money is going into luring the team to Reno, but the city did put funds into the ballpark and has a vested interest in seeing the team succeed, Schieve said.

“This is a big deal for Reno, certainly for downtown,” she said. “It continues on with our vision for revitalization. Recreational tourism has become critical in most cities. Herb Simon has really stepped up and committed to Reno.”


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