Following its first exhibition match for Las Vegas Lights FC, Cashman Field is receiving positive early reviews as a professional soccer venue.
Cashman Field is hosting a USL club for the first time this year, as it is the home of expansion Lights FC. The venue has been around in professional sports for years, however, first opening for baseball in 1983. Its Minor League Baseball tenant, the Las Vegas 51s (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League), will share Cashman Field with Lights FC this year, but has expressed concerns about the condition of the facility for years and is moving forward with plans to construct a new ballpark in Downtown Summerlin.
Lights FC got its first taste of soccer action at the facility last weekend, when the club hosted MLS’s Montreal Impact for a preseason game. While certain issues with Cashman Field will have to be ironed out, early feedback on its place as a USL facility has been positive, with Lights FC players praising the atmosphere at last weekend’s game. More from The Las Vegas Review-Journal:
“I think it was incredible. It motivates you, you know?” [Lights FC midfielder Alex] Mendoza said. “It was something else. It was something special. We were all just happy to be a part of it.”
The Lights were able to create the raucous atmosphere they were seeking at their first preseason game against Major League Soccer’s Montreal Impact on Saturday in a 2-0 loss, giving credence to the praise owner Brett Lashbrook heaped on Cashman as a soccer venue.
While the venue has limitations, ones that led to the 51s’ new stadium in Summerlin, the Lights worked around those for a largely successful debut. Cashman Field’s smaller concourses aren’t as big of an issue in soccer, where the only break in the action comes at halftime.
One of the issues for the Lights was getting their sellout crowd through the front gate to meet the game’s scheduled starting time, a problem the team will happily accept. The turf on the field was also uneven in parts, mainly where the basepaths and pitching mound were covered up, but the effect on the game was negligible.
The match at Cashman Field drew a reported crowd of 10,387 fans. It was not the only high-profile exhibition to take place at a USL facility over the weekend, as Nashville SC welcomed over 9,000 fans to First Tennessee Park for its preseason game against Atlanta United FC.
Image courtesy Las Vegas Lights FC.
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