Ground broken on new FC Tucson home
County, soccer club hope basic modifications will be done by May 19
FC Tucson managing partner Greg Foster is more than a little happy.
“The county voted yesterday, and they already have the tractor out there,” Foster said after visiting the Kino Sports Complex on Wednesday.
He’s referring to Monday’s Pima County Board of Supervisors vote to begin conversions of one of the former Major League Baseball fields into a soccer field and a home for FC Tucson.
FC Tucson will be playing their first season as a member of the Premiere Development League starting in May. The league demands certain requirements of the facility, including seating for at least 1,000 fans.
Some teams in the league play in high school football stadiums, but Foster and FC Tucson wanted a bit more than that.
“It will show the commitment that our community has to having a quality product,” he said.
Field 5, the specific portion of Kino Sports Complex that will serve as FC Tucson’s home field, has a scoreboard and seating, but they aren’t quite made for soccer.
The scoreboard, for example, is made for baseball and has no clock. The bleachers are behind a fence, not close up the way soccer fans usually demand. FC Tucson is hoping for a press box, as well as a good spot to do video recordings of games.
Many of these changes are in the hopes of accommodating the demands of MLS preseason training.
It sounds like an awful lot to ask of the Stadium District, the folks that manage Kino Sports Complex, especially given that the first home game is May 19.
Rick Schantz is confident that the place will on its way to meeting the PDL specifications by opening day, and has nothing but praise for the Kino staff.
“I have really enjoyed working with them,” he said. “They have been pros and take a lot of pride in their work.”
It’s not the first time he’s been called that
During Tuesday’s vote, Richard Elías wore a scarf for FC Tucson’s supporters group, the Cactus Pricks. He even brandished it toward the FC Tucson supporters in the audience.
Where did he get it?
“I bought it.” Well, ask a stupid question …
“I support these guys,” Elías said referring to both the Cactus Pricks and FC Tucson. “They’re that vital local link.”
Elías continued, “It’s a big part of what was lacking with baseball, honestly.”
He loves that dirty water
When the starter fired his pistol for the Boston Marathon on Monday, one was wearing a shirt bearing FC Tucson’s shield: Bryan DeJonghe.
The FC Tucson defender finished the race with a time of 3 hours, 54 minutes and 24 seconds.