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Phoenix Rising soccer team wants to build new MLS stadium on Salt River

The Phoenix Rising FC soccer team wants to build a new Major League Soccer stadium on the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community land.

Phoenix Rising already plays in a temporary 6,200-seat stadium on the Salt River reservation near McClintock Road and Loop 202.

The team plays in the United Soccer League and is looking to get on Major League Soccer’s expansion list.

Phoenix Rising recently named architecture firms Populous and Gould Evans to design an MLS-style stadium.

Phoenix Rising has been looking to get on the MLS expansion list and a new stadium plan could help.

Team Co-Chairman Brett Johnson said the preference is to build that stadium on Salt River land.

“As you are aware, our current USL franchise plays on Salt River land through our agreement with the Solanna Group and we are grateful for this partnership. Assuming that we are awarded a franchise by MLS and can satisfy Solana’s, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and MLS’s requirements for the land and the stadium, we would be honored to extend our partnership on Salt River land.”

Phoenix is one of the largest North American markets without an MLS team.

A challenge for a Phoenix MLS bid is having a stadium and game schedule that does its best to deal with the region’s intense summer heat.

Phoenix Rising has also pitched the idea of playing at Chase Field in downtown Phoenix or Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe.

““Phoenix Rising FC is grateful for leaders from Arizona State University and the Maricopa County Stadium District joining us for our presentation to the president and deputy commissioner of MLS last spring. Sun Devil Stadium and Chase Field remain interim options if MLS would like Phoenix Rising FC to begin playing in its league during construction of our new MLS stadium,” the team said in a statement.

The Chase Field option does face some at least short-term complications because of the legal fight between Maricopa County, which owns the downtown ballpark, and the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team, its primary tenant.

The Salt River reservation is already home spring training for the D-backs and Colorado Rockies.

The Salt River community sits in prime land along the Loop 101 freeway north of Tempe and Mesa and east of Scottsdale.

The D-backs have been rumored to have looked at the reservation for a potential new ballpark if the team leaves downtown Phoenix.

Salt River sites have also been floated as potential new arena locations for the Arizona Coyotes and Phoenix Suns if they leave their current locations.

The MLS has 23 teams headed into this season with expansion plans for Miami and Nashville.

Cincinnati, Sacramento and Detroit — all smaller markets than Phoenix — are up next.

Phoenix along with cities such as Charlotte, Raleigh, Indianapolis and Tampa-St. Petersburg are looking to join Major League Soccer.

 

By Mike Sunnucks – Senior Reporter, Phoenix Business Journal