Phoenix FC, a franchise member of the USL PRO professional soccer league, is proud to announce a stadium agreement with Arizona State University for the 2013 inaugural season. The team will play home games at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium in Tempe beginning in the spring.
As part of the deal, Phoenix FC will invest to significantly expand seating capacity by more than 4,000 additional seats, taking the total capacity to over 5,000 seats. Designs include the addition of North, South and East seating areas, with the South side reserved for a “Supporters Section” dedicated to the most avid fans. Phoenix FC has already purchased the additional seating with construction slated to begin next month, and it will be completed before the team begins professional play in April.
Says Phoenix FC Chairman Eric Cornwell, “The entire Phoenix area has an incredible fan base for soccer, and we have been working hard to find the perfect location to launch a professional soccer team that allows enthusiasts to easily be a part of the experience. Sun Devil Soccer Stadium in Tempe is beyond ideal. It’s centrally located, adjacent to the freeways and light rail, and it’s right in the middle of a fantastic area for restaurants and entertainment.” Cornwell continued, “I cannot say enough about the hard work of Tim Thomas, Phoenix FC’s President and Steve Patterson at ASU in making this deal happen. Both of them saw the amazing opportunity that this location presents to the Valley’s soccer community, and they simply got it done. We couldn’t be more thrilled about the location, the process and our new partnership.”
“We’re proud to stand with ASU to welcome Phoenix FC to our city,” said Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell. “This is an exciting opportunity to introduce people from all over the Valley, state and nation to Tempe and to have them watch a great soccer game in a first-rate location. Fans are going to have a terrific time exploring our downtown and enjoying all that Tempe and ASU has to offer.”
Added Steve Patterson, Vice President of University Athletics at Arizona State University, “We are excited to partner with the city of Tempe to host professional soccer at Arizona State University. We will provide a first-class soccer stadium for Phoenix FC to play its home matches. Our women’s soccer program has been in the NCAA Tournament three of the past four seasons, and as soccer grows in the state, a partnership with Phoenix FC is a natural way to maintain that momentum. We share the same goals of competing for championships and cultivating a fan base with youth and adult soccer fans across the state, and we can work together to reach our goals.”
Season tickets deposits of $50 for Phoenix FC’s inaugural season are currently available and more than 500 deposits have been collected. Seating is limited and interested soccer fans are encouraged to visit the team’s website at www.PhoenixFC.com to purchase season tickets before they are sold out. Season ticket packages will start at just $187.00 per seat, with the option of General Admission seating or seats in the exclusive Supporters Section behind the South goal available at a later date. Tickets will be made available through Glendale-based GetTix.NET.
With this location, near the northeast corner of University Drive and Rural Road, Phoenix FC looks to make an immediate impact and draw sell-out crowds of soccer enthusiasts across Arizona. The team will play fifteen home games between April and September of 2013, joining the USL PRO’s Los Angeles Blues as the two premiere western franchises. Additionally, the club will play exhibition matches against MLS clubs and International teams, and compete in the 100th edition of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in May of 2013.
Phoenix FC is well on its way in establishing a competitive team led by management and coaches with a wealth of International soccer experience. Former Portuguese professional player and coach, Rui Filipe Bento, will serve as General Manager of the team, while former Scottish star David Robertson will serve as Head Coach. Six professional players have already been signed to the team, including players from professional leagues in Scotland and Brazil, as well as established players from USL PRO.
The team will continue to enhance its professional roster, and it has already held open tryouts over the past few months. A number of local players have garnered the attention of the coaches, including Reid Schmitt of Ahwatukee and Brad Keller of Phoenix. Schmitt played last season on the Professional Development League team, FC Tucson, and he recently signed on to join Phoenix FC in 2013. The roster will be completed in January, 2013, and team practices will begin soon thereafter.