Phoenix FC officially announced where it will play its 2014 USL PRO season, its second season in existence.
Phoenix FC will play its home matches at the Peoria Sports Complex, the club announced during a news segment on the local Telemundo channel.
The announcement confirms ODFCNews.com’s report last October, breaking the news three months earlier that the club has signed an agreement with the Peoria Sports Complex.
Peoria Sports Complex is the spring training home of major league ball clubs, Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres. The USL PRO schedule has yet to be announced, but the last spring training game at the complex is Saturday, March 29. Phoenix FC’s home opener is expected to happen within the two weeks after.
An announcement was supposed to be made on “EVB Live,” a news segment on KPNX Ch. 12, the local NBC affiliate.
This is what Phoenix FC’s Twitter account tweeted at 4 p.m. on Tuesday:
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But the show ended at 5 p.m. and no mention of Phoenix FC came to pass.
This is what Phoenix FC tweeted at 5:10 p.m.:
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A deal with the Peoria Sports Complex ends a long search for a new stadium since Phoenix FC decided to cancel its contract with Arizona State to use Sun Devil Soccer Stadium as its home stadium, a move that was among several other cost-cutting transactions through the last few weeks of its expansion season. The team called Grand Canyon University Arena and Reach 11 Sports Complex home after deciding it couldn’t continue to pay the high cost to rent Sun Devil Soccer Stadium (estimated to be more than $15,000 per home match, according to sources).
Peoria Sports Complex was a strong candidate to be Phoenix FC’s home stadium in the 2013 USL PRO season before a deal was struck with Arizona State. So when the club began looking for a home again months later, Peoria Sports Complex was back at the top of the list of options.
The stadium’s northwest Metro Phoenix location poses problems and opportunities for Phoenix FC. It will cut off many East Valley soccer fans who will refuse to make the drive, which could be up to an hour or more. The light rail doesn’t reach Peoria as it does at Sun Devil Soccer Stadium so there isn’t an easy public transportation option. But the complex is close to Loop 101 and is surrounded by a busy dining and shopping area. There is also a large soccer fan community in the West Valley that Phoenix FC could tap into.
Other home stadium sites that were rumored included Mesa Community College, Maryvale Baseball Stadium and even the cavernous University of Phoenix Stadium.