The future of Fresno FC is in doubt, as coach Adam Smith expressed his belief Saturday that the club will not return in 2020 “unless a miracle happens.”
Recent news reports have cast doubts on the status of Fresno FC beyond the 2019 USL Championship season, as the organization is dealing with facility challenges. The club has played at downtown Fresno’s Chukchansi Park–a Minor League Baseball facility that first opened for the Fresno Grizzlies (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) in 2002–since its 2018 launch, but a soccer-specific stadium is reportedly needed to ensure the club’s long-term stability and a solution has not emerged thus far.
On Saturday, Fresno FC’s season ended with a 3-2 quarterfinal loss to El Paso Locomotive FC. In comments following that game, Smith expressed his belief that, short of a miracle, the team will not return next season. More from The Fresno Bee:
“I don’t think there is going to be a next season. I’ll be honest,” he said. “There isn’t going to be a next season for Fresno FC unless a miracle happens.”…
Uncertainty surrounding the club’s future took a toll on the team, Smith said.
“That’s the reality of it,” he said. “That’s the reason why we were in the situation we’re in. We had great form, momentum and we had self-belief. We had a great locker room. I want to be very clear – I’m not trying to sort of make this a big deal and an excuse. It’s the truth and you can see that from the timeline.”
Smith was careful not to point fingers while acknowledging the reality of working under the cloud of a precarious future “impacts people’s livelihood.”
Having a soccer-specific stadium would give Fresno FC a greater control over revenues, thus potentially boosting its bottom line. However, without a solution, it seems that the club is at risk of not returning in 2020.
Image courtesy Fresno FC.