Reno, Nevada will be the latest city to join the fast-expanding USL as the site of the league’s 28th franchise, it was announced Wednesday.
Herb Simon, co-founder of the Indianapolis-based Simon Property Group, owner of the NBA’s Indiana Pacers and the managing partner of minor league baseball team Reno Aces of the Pacific Coast League, will be the team’s owner. They’ll play at Aces Ballpark starting in the 2017 season.
With 24 clubs in the 2015 season, the third-tier USL recently announced the additions of Lehigh Valley, FC Cincinnati and Rio Grande Valley FC for the 2016 season.
“The USL is thrilled to welcome Reno, Nevada as its 28th franchise,” USL CEO Alec Papadakis said in a statement. “The vibrant city of Reno, combined with the outstanding ownership of Herb Simon, will assuredly create a most professional soccer organization.
Aces Ballpark is a $50 million venue that opened on April 17, 2009. The facility features 6,500 seats, 22 luxury suites, 84 sports bar patio seats and multiple general admission areas that bring the total capacity to more than 9,000.
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“Aces Ballpark was always envisioned as a venue to bring the community together,” said Aces president Eric Edelstein, who serve in the same capacity for the USL team. “Bringing USL professional soccer to Reno is the next step in bringing world-class sports and entertainment to Reno.”
The club has launched a “name the team” contest for fans, with the logo and coaching staff to be announced at a later date.