What the new Phoenix Rising stadium means for the team

Santi Moar, who is a Phoenix Rising defender, kicks the ball into the box on a cross during their preseason game against Union Omaha at the team’s new stadium. (File photo by Nickolas Cooney / Cronkite News)

PHOENIX – Phoenix Rising FC kicked off their season on April 30 and sit first in the USL Western Conference Pacific Division standings. Although struggling to train during the offseason due to the coronavirus pandemic, the team has a 3-1 record and maybe part of their motivation comes from the new stadium in the team at the Gila River Wild Horse Pass. The new stadium has training grounds for the team, something that his old home at Arizona Field Casino lacked. It also offers a lot more room for fans.

“People are excited to come out and kick off the season for sure,” said Joe Farrell, who ranks number one in goals among Rising defensemen and has been with the club since the end of 2017.

He said he was eager to step onto the pitch in the new outdoor stadium with his teammates.

Earlier this spring, assistant coach Juan Guerra, who signed with the team this offseason, said watching construction set a new expectation.

“It’s great to see how the stadium is growing every day. When you drive in the morning you understand the responsibility we have when you see all that is building around us.

(Audio by Nickolas Cooney / Cronkite News)

The new location features paved roads for quick entry and exit, an improved video card, a larger press box than the previous one, improved sound, and a new family-friendly general admission section across from the busy area. supporters. But having two areas of training, Farrell said, is a big deal.

“Because we had the only field in the only training ground of an Arizona Field Casino, which was great, but there were times in the year where we would be torn apart and it would get a little messy, a bit sloppy. So now we can still train on the high level field, ”said Farrell.

Guerra said the second training ground opens up what players can do for training.

“So we like to use a single field for warm-up passing drills, technical and tactical activities, when it’s pretty much a small site,” Guerra said. “And then when we want to open up to a bigger size and play bigger games, 11v11, or do more structured tactical activities or have more space, we go to the playing field.”

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Guerra sees the Wild Horse Pass as an ideal environment for coaches and staff to help players grow and develop as a team.

The new stadium has 4,000 to 5,000 additional seats for fans, and although the season is open at 50% capacity, the Rising announced from June 5 that the Wild Horse Pass will increase to 100% of its capacity. capacity. Farrell said filling the stadium is always what the players want to see.

“You always want a packed house, you always want as many people as possible to watch your game because it gives you that little extra boost, especially late in the game,” said Farrell.

The Rising will travel to California this weekend to face Sacramento Republic FC (2-1), Saturday at 7:30 p.m. before welcoming the returning San Diego Loyal (0-4) to the Wild Horse Pass on June 5 for what could be their first. 100% capacity match. The Rising beat San Diego at home, 4-1 in their season opener.

David Payne of Cronkite News contributed to this story.

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