Soccer fever finally hit Fresno last year with the arrival of the new professional soccer club Fresno FC, but can this team be successful in a city that has already seen The Fresno Falcons hockey team go bankrupt and another one the Fresno Grizzlies operate in the red for many years?
The Fresno FC will play in the United Soccer League or USL which is a lower division with the MLS being top tier.
They will be part of the western division playing with teams from cities like Las Vegas, Sacramento, and Los Angeles among others.
Fresno’s semi-pro team the Fresno Fuego had a small, but loyal fan base that filled about 2000 seats at the Chukchansi Park on game day.
This number however might not be good enough for the new professional team who will be expected to put fans on the seats from day one.
In order to be successful one of the first things the team needs to do is to bring in a player with a big name, someone that is well known in the US soccer community or someone from a team in Mexico or Europe.
The Central Valley has a large hispanic community and the majority come from Mexico a country with a strong soccer history.
If the Fresno FC front office which is managed by former professional player Frank Yallop takes advantage of the Mexican fan base’s love of soccer the Team will have fans in the seats.
Another obstacle that the team must hurle in order to be successful is having their own stand alone stadium, they will be playing their inaugural season at Chukchansi Park, a baseball stadium that seats a little more than 12000 people.
With a soccer stadium they will have a home that fans can appreciate and would like to go every game day.
These hurles call all be overlooked by the fans if the team is successful on the field, but that will be difficult being that this is a brand new franchise with new players and staff.
Fresno FC has a lot of promise to be a good franchise for the city, let’s just hope that the owners do their part.