After completing the first regular season at H-E-B Park, Rio Grande Valley FC Toros are looking to build a strong fan base for future success.
This year the Toros opened H-E-B Park. Their final regular season home game was played on September 30, and the club finished with a per-game average of 7,067 spectators, drawing a total attendance of 113,076.
Going forward, the club is hoping to build on those numbers and draw even more fans in the coming seasons. Bert Garcia, president of the Toros and NBA Gatorade League’s RGV Vipers, believes that the club can do more. In an extensive Q&A that covered both franchises, Garcia outlined his expectations for what the Toros can accomplish. More from The Monitor:
For me, realistically, it has always been to obtain 7,500 to 8,000 attendance for the Toros. That is a realistic mark. I was feeling and confident that we could probably get our 9,700 per mark on the Toros, especially with the brand that (coach) Wilmer (Cabrera), along with the Houston Dynamo, were able to build last year. It was a fun brand. I think soccer is an extremely fun sport, and a sport that we all can relate to. I think being 80 percent Hispanic, at some point we’ve all seen a soccer game, whether it be on TV or live. So for us, we thought this was going to be a no-brainer.
Now my expectations are, I still believe we can do more. I still believe that we need to reach out to the person who hasn’t been to H-E-B Park, because Mr. Alonzo Cantu has done an amazing job with that building. That building, we hosted the Houston Dash about a week ago, and the first thing they said was that this exceeded our expectations. We didn’t know what to expect, but this is even better than any stadium we’ve been to in the NWSL. And you’re talking some MLS stadiums, too. The building is there. The product on the pitch is there. Affordable ticket prices are there. So in saying that, why not get 9,700? So is it meeting our expectations? Me personally? No.
Through week 29, the Toros per-game attendance average ranks fifth in USL. That is one slot behind San Antonio (7,195) and one spot ahead of Phoenix (6,088), according to our current attendance numbers for USL. In addition to Toros’ matches, H-E-B Park has hosted some special events in its first year, including a recent contest for the NWSL’s Houston Dash.
Image courtesy Rio Grande Valley Toros FC.