FRESNO, California (KGPE) – The Fresno Foxes could be moving out of Fresno if the organization does not start building a stadium in the next two months.
The Foxes first came to Fresno in 2017. The United Soccer League made a deal with the team to convert the Grizzlies Ballpark into a soccer field every game day until the organization could build a stadium of its own.
Time is running out, as the Foxes close in on year three at Chukchansi Park.
Council Member Miguel Arias said for a $10 million stadium it will take at least two years.
“We have always known that there is a ticking time clock for us to be able to find a middle ground,” said Arias.
Arias said the local soccer team only realistically has two months to find a piece of land if the organization wants to stay in Fresno.
Mayor Lee Brand said the organization has considered at a dozen sites, but none were the right fit. This was due to a number of factors including price, location and lack of parking.
“It sometimes is just hard to put all of the pieces together,” said Brand.
The Foxes now considering moving to a different city that makes sense financially.
“It will be a huge loss for the region and so that is why we hope the owner will think twice before they leave town and really try and commit to building a stadium in Fresno,” said Arias.
Brand said the city has offered to help including leasing a property for $1 a year and helping with other costs.
He said now it is up to the organization to make the choice to stay. Brand said the city does not have the means to pour hundreds of thousands of dollars each year into a soccer team when there are higher priorities.
“I can’t open the bank vault and say ‘here take the cash,” said Brand. “So we did it in a responsible way and I feel confident that we have done everything that we can do and again the door is still open for them to come back and find a solution.”
Fresno FC General Manager Frank Yallop issued a statement, “We are disappointed that we could not make a stadium site work within the city of Fresno thus far. We thank the fans for their continued support up to now and into the postseason. Fresno FC will continue to work on solutions for the future.”