El Paso is entering the mix as a prospective USL market, as an effort there to land a franchise is continuing to take shape.
The push for a club in El Paso is being led by a group that includes Paul Foster and Josh Hunt, as well as other executives from the MountainStar Sports Group. MountainStar is the ownership group behind baseball’s El Paso Chihuahuas (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League), who have established a track record of success since beginning play at downtown El Paso’s Southwest University Park in 2014, and the organization has an ownership stake in FC Juarez.
A key objective for the group is settling on a site for a new stadium that could accommodate a USL franchise, and that search is ongoing. In the meantime, the USL is confirming its interest in the city. More from El Paso Inc.:
Nicholas Murray, a spokesperson for the USL, told El Paso Inc. the league is interested in El Paso.
“The USL is looking closely at El Paso, Texas, as a new home for a future Division II franchise,” Murray said in an email statement. “We are pleased to see the hard work that has been put in by the Hunt and Foster families, along with a management team led by Alan Ledford of MountainStar Sports Group.”
MountainStar and Union Pacific met two weeks ago to discuss the sale of the Union Pacific property. It is located just south of Interstate 10 near Downtown and is home to a train warehouse decorated with Christmas lights.
In the end, Union Pacific rebuffed MountainStar’s advances, and the hunt for a stadium location continues.
The USL has been lining up its expansion plans for the coming seasons, as Las Vegas, Nashville, and Fresno have all been confirmed for entry in 2018, while Austin and Birmingham are already in the mix for 2019.
Image of USL action courtesy FC Cincinnati.