In less than a season, Phoenix Rising Football Club has cemented itself as one of Arizona's best and most exciting professional sports franchises -- and if you have yet to check them out, now's the time to change that.
Originally called Arizona United when the club was founded in 2014, a new ownership group purchased and rebranded the team as Phoenix Rising last year, and moved its home games from Peoria to Tempe before the 2017 season. The team just clinched a playoff spot in the United Soccer League, the second tier of professional soccer in the United States behind Major League Soccer.
Not convinced? Here are five more reasons why now is a great time to hop on the Phoenix Rising bandwagon:
1. They're a good team
Valley fans have a lot of choices when it comes to spending their money on sporting events, which is why they're hesitant to spend it on losing teams. Enter Phoenix Rising, which had a five-game winning streak and 11-game undefeated streak going before finally suffering a loss Saturday night in Sacramento.
The Diamondbacks are playoff-bound, but let's be honest: We haven't had a lot of winning pro teams in the Valley lately. Fans have an opportunity to reward one of the teams that is winning, and at a very affordable price.
2. Amazing atmosphere
In just its first season in the East Valley, Phoenix Rising has enjoyed some of the best fan support in the entire United Soccer League. The team's average attendance of 6,122 fans per home game is the sixth-best among all 30 USL teams.
But what really makes Phoenix Rising games fun are the hardcore fans. Fans in the supporters section stand and sing throughout each game and celebrate in a big way when its team scores. The atmosphere at the stadium is never dull, and that makes for an awesome fan experience, win or lose.
One reason for the strong fan turnout? The location of the Phoenix Rising FC Stadium Complex, a 6,200-seat facility that was built in less than two months. The stadium is located on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, at 751 N McClintock Dr. in Tempe near the 101/202 intersection, on the other side of the 202 from Tempe Marketplace.
The stadium is just a 15-minute drive from downtown Phoenix and not far from most East Valley suburbs. It's easy to get in and out of the parking lot, and a parking fee of $1.50 is built into every ticket purchased. Click here for directions.