PHOENIX — After three years playing in south Scottsdale, the Phoenix Rising FC revealed Thursday that it would move its stadium and training facilities to the Gila River Indian Community's Wild Horse Pass.
The new stadium will be located south of the Gila River's Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino, near Interstate 10 and Loop 202 junctions, and is expected to be completed before the start of the 2021 USL season, which was postponed to May due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a news release said.
The team said the move allows them to increase the number of fans by 35%, upgrade their VIP suites, add additional training fields, improve the speed to enter and exit the stadium, and allow for future expansion.
Other planned upgrades include an enhanced video board, a larger press box, and a new seating section for families. Future expansion plans include a permanent ticket office, locker rooms, and administrative offices, a news release said.
"Since the launch of Phoenix Rising FC in 2016, fan support has been consistently increasing,” said Phoenix Rising FC Governor Berke Bakay in a statement. "Prior to COVID-19, twenty-three consecutive matches at Casino Arizona Field were sold out due to our amazing supporters."
The Gila River Indian Community has a history of successful partnerships with many professional and collegiate sports teams in the Valley. We are very much looking forward to having Phoenix Rising be the first to play its games within our community," said Gila River Indian Community Governor Stephen Lewis.
The team said prior to selecting Gila River, it also looked at possibly relocating to Maricopa County, Mesa, Phoenix, Scottsdale, and the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.
"We appreciate everyone from these governments who spent time exploring stadium location options with us,” said Bakay. “We will be forever grateful to the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community families comprising the Solanna Group for embracing us in 2016 and providing a home on their land for our initial success."
Last month, Gila River announced a partnership with the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury to open Club Gila River, a 4,000-square-foot club at the Suns' renovated arena. The deal also included Suns- and Mercury-branded chips at Gila River's casinos, and branded rooms at its hotels.
In 2014, Gila River secured the naming rights to Gila River Arena, home of the Arizona Coyotes.