PHOENIX (KSAZ) - As the 2018 FIFA World Cup continues, there's a renewed focus on what it could mean for Phoenix's bid to join Major League Soccer, considered to be America's top professional soccer league.
Phoenix Rising soccer players checked out FIFA World Cup soccer action on Thursday, as England takes on Belgium. The players are excited, just like Phoenix Rising fans. The Valley's top professional soccer team is playing well, and are selling out its games.
"It is just exciting from players," said Zac Lubin, goalkeeper for Phoenix Rising. "Every player is electric and has ability to make plays, and the environment is incredible."
The question is, however, could all this excitement now about the FIFA World Cup help Phoenix in its quest to get a Major League Soccer team?
"We have all the ingredients: fantastic market, how we have done a year and a half since we started," said Bobby Dulle, General Manager for Phoenix Rising FC. "We are the largest market without a Major League Soccer franchise. There isn't another Major League Soccer franchise within 400 miles of Phoenix,"
The team is looking to build a 21,000 seat stadium. The sketches looks cool, but would it be too hot for the fans? Team owners say they'll play at night, in a stadium designed to maximize comfort for fans and players.
"As the air flows through, you get shade wind or airflow," said Mark Detmer, Co-Owner of Phoenix Rising FC. "We will create entrances into the stadium that create water walls as you enter the stadium."
If all goes well, Phoenix Rising hopes to, within the next few years, become an MLS expansion team, and bring soccer glory to the Valley and beyond.