We have one less team in USL Championship, as Reno 1868 FC has ceased operations and will not compete in 2021 and beyond.
The Reno team launched in 2017 and played out of Greater Nevada Field, a baseball ballpark shared with the Reno Aces (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League), with whom the USL Championship team shared ownership.
“To our fans, our players, our community partners, and everyone who has been involved with Reno 1868 FC, we hope you and your families are safe and healthy amidst these challenging times,” said 1868 FC President Eric Edelstein via the team website. “Like you, this isn’t the way we saw 2020 going. With that said, we have made the gut-wrenching decision to cease our participation in the USL Championship.
“Today we find ourselves in a world-wide community beset by a pandemic and we are unexpectedly forced to make a tough decision. I am heartbroken to let go of Reno 1868 FC and I apologize to all who are disappointed that we are ending our participation in the USL Championship.”
USL Championship frowns on its teams playing in baseball ballparks, and the was true of Reno playing out of Greater Nevada Field. But Edelstein was quoted as saying there was little chance of a new soccer-specific stadium in the works in Reno, serving as a factor to fold the team.
“Multi-use stadiums provide the most value to our communities and Greater Nevada Field will continue to encourage existing stadiums to welcome the opportunity to host other sports. Currently, however, the quality of soccer in America is quickly accelerating and as such would require upgraded facilities. Soccer in America is quickly outgrowing baseball stadiums. The Club believed a soccer stadium in northern Nevada would be necessary for soccer to expand and compete in the current landscape of second division professional soccer. This prospect for 1868 FC was difficult pre-COVID-19, but in a prolonged pandemic it became unrealistic.”