The temporary Fuego FC home until the team settles on a permanent home could be Fresno State Soccer Stadium, as the team negotiates with Fresno State over a multi-year lease.
Fresno State’s women’s soccer team plays out of Fresno State Soccer Stadium. The team is committed to playing in 2022, creating an immediate need for a temporary Fuego FC home before the home launch on May 7. A lease would include a facility upgrade, adding more seating to the stadium. Previous USL teams in Fresno had played out of Chukchansi Park, home of MiLB’s Fresno Grizzlies, but that was rejected as an option because of financial reasons: basically, the rent asked by Fresno State is less than asked by the Grizzlies.
Fuego FC owners Juan and Alicia Ruelas are working with the city on a purchase of downtown’s Selland Arena, Valdez Hall and a parking lot for an end price of $2 million–$5 million minus $3 million in city tax credits. Right now the city runs Selland Arena and Valdez Hall at a loss, and a big selling point for the USL League One team owners is that the sale would take the facilities off the city books and serve as a base for additional development. But with the city declaring the land as surplus property, we’re assuming the California Surplus Lands Act will come into play and force the city to put the property up to bid with affordable-housing developers holding an advantage. We’ve already seen that act invoked in other sports-centric developments, including a redevelopment of San Diego’s Pechanga Arena.
Photo courtesy Fresno State University.
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