Falcons Back at Selland, Could Inspire More Business Downtown

Fresno, CA, USA Friday night is the hockey team's first game at Selland arena in five years. With their return new hopes of business success return as well.

A downtown banner reads "Home of the Falcons" and greets all who drive and walk the streets.

Five hockey seasons have passed since the team's skates have hit the ice at Selland arena. With the return to their nest, many residents hope a new crowd will find reason to explore downtown.

Emma Tregembo said: "It's going to add more opportunities for people to come downtown. Different, more things to do."

"I think when people come down here to see the games they'll see all the other attractions that are around here, the restaurants and all that," predicted John Brisky.

Restaurants like the soon to open Heroes sports lounge and Carlton's bar and grill, which opened in April. Manager Rachelle Tyler hopes the modern interior, a live jazz band, and Falcons' fans proves a successful business combination.

"Everyday it's volatile, volatile business ... It's extremely important we have a lot going on at Selland arena," warned Tyler.

But some construction plans at Selland have been halted like the Legacy Project. Falcon's owners wanted to turn an outside lot into a parking garage, with retail shops and living center for hockey players but dropped the idea as the economy weakened.

Still one business group said the return of the Falcons is just the ticket for downtown growth.

"They started here and so to have them come back downtown we really welcome them," said Jan Minami.

Downtown Association of Fresno executive director Jan Minami said the city could use a fresh nostalgic spark to excite residents.

"Every bit helps. The Falcons are a big step not a little step but we love it. We're really glad they're here," said Minami.


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