In its debut USL regular-season match, expansion Fresno FC was greeted with a strong reception from its fan base at Chukchansi Park.
Saturday marked the regular-season debut of Fresno FC. On the pitch, the match against Las Vegas Lights FC resulted in a 3-2 loss for Fresno, but that did not dampen the enthusiasm of the club’s fan base. The match drew a reported crowd of 7,750 fans, making it one of the biggest attendance success stories of the first week of the 2018 USL season.
As The Fresno Bee reported, fans were eager to see Fresno FC’s debut match and the result was an energetic atmosphere at Chukchansi Park:
“This is a really good turnout,” said a Fire Squad Fresno member named “Stretch,” who wore a blue mask that covered his entire face while also sporting Fresno FC apparel. “I love that Fresno is getting something to do in town, like a soccer team.
“It builds more interest to go downtown. Makes it more fun. If we could have crowds like this every game, it’d be awesome.”
Though it took 72 minutes of game action for Fresno FC to finally score – on Jemal Johnson’s goal – the home crowd erupted in cheer while waving light blue flags.
Fire Squad Fresno even set off blue and pink smoke bombs the filled the air behind the visitor’s goal post.
Fresno FC is one of four expansion clubs that is playing its first USL season, making it part of a mix that also includes Atlanta United 2, Las Vegas, and Nashville SC. The club will play its home games at Chukchansi Park, a downtown Fresno venue that originally opened in 2002 and is also the home of baseball’s Fresno Grizzlies (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League).
Image courtesy Fresno FC.