“We’re creating an asset not just for people to watch professional soccer but to play amateur soccer, for our children to play,” said Ramón Valadez, chairman of the Pima County Board of Supervisors and supervisor for District 2, where Kino Sports Complex is located.
Supervisor Richard Elías, District 5, said the County’s improvements to Kino Sports Complex show “government moving quickly when a great opportunity knocks on the door.”
“By improving these facilities at such a rapid pace, I think we’ve shown our great commitment to our children and our youth and to professional sports,” he said.
The County’s $2.8 million in improvements at Kino Sports Complex will include a grandstand that will seat 1,600-1,800 with an overhang and with additional bleachers for up to 400, a new scoreboard, and restroom and concession facilities at North Field #1. North Fields #2 and #3 will be converted to three fields, and a new main entrance to the soccer fields will be built.
The work is expected to be completed in October 2013.
Greg Foster, a co-managing partner of FC Tucson, praised the County’s efforts to grow soccer here.
“In 18 months, as a result of the County’s investment in this facility, we’ve been able to attract Major League Soccer preseason; our community has been designated a Western hub of Major League Soccer preseason; we are going to be showcased on national TV, on NBC Sports for the final of the Desert Diamond Cup; we will have 10 Major League Soccer teams training in Tucson; we will have the first international friendly ever to be played in Tucson,” Foster said. “We’ve also attracted youth sports,” including the Arizona Youth Soccer Association state league games, the state cup and the Fort Lowell Shootout.
“The County’s commitment to soccer and the pace at which they’ve developed these facilities have made this all possible.”
The Denmark-Canada friendly match at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, at Kino Stadium launches 10 days of Major League Soccer friendlies at North Field #5 followed by the Desert Diamond Cup on Feb. 13, 16, 20 and 23 at Kino Stadium.
Home matches during FC Tucson’s 2013 Premier Development League schedule, which begins May 11, will be played at North Field #5.
2013 season tickets went on sale today. Season ticket packages are $100 ($10/game) and will include seven PDL dates plus three additional matches to be determined. The first 1,600 fans to purchase 2013 season tickets will be guaranteed a chance to order 2014 season tickets at the new stadium.
FC Tucson, established in 2010, owns FC Tucson Soccer, Tucson’s top-level soccer team, and the FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup. In 2012, FC Tucson was named the PDL Rookie Franchise of the Year. Follow FC Tucson at www.fctucson.com.
Kino Sports Complex (www.kinosportscomplex.com) is home to both the Triple-A Tucson Padres baseball team and the FC Tucson soccer club. It is the largest professional sports and entertainment venue of its kind in Pima County. It includes the 11,000-seat Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium, seven baseball fields (four with lights), lighted softball fields, a regulation Soccer Stadium (lighted) and four additional fields for soccer, field hockey, rugby, and lacrosse. It is a natural fit for youth, high school, collegiate, and professional sports; and makes a great setting for social gatherings, concerts, and community events.