Fresno FC faces uncertainty over 2020 season

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FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- In just its second season in the United Soccer League, Fresno FC has the chance to clinch a home playoff game with a win Wednesday night in El Paso. But despite the team's success on the field, off-field questions abound regarding the team's status for the 2020 season.

The club confirmed to Action News Wednesday that players were told there is a 50/50 chance Fresno FC will play at all next season, something first reported by The Athletic with a heads up from the Fox Trot Podcast. The primary issue for the league is the club's lack of a soccer-specific stadium. Right now, and since the club's inception in 2018, the Zorros have played their home games at Chukchansi Park. According to sources in the Athletic article, USL bylaws allow teams to launch in a baseball stadium but require a soccer-specific venue by the third year.

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Owner Ray Beshoff was not available for comment on whether there are currently plans in place to find such a stadium.

ABC30 was instead directed to a statement from General Manager Frank Yallop which said, in part:

"Fresno Football Club is working around the clock with USL HQ to plan out our future for 2020 and beyond. We are honored and proud to call the San Joaquin Valley our home, however, it is imperative to our survival that we secure a soccer-specific stadium. As it stands today, the unfavorable economic realities of our Chukchansi Park lease agreement, as well as the lack of progress - and political support - we've seen in finding a proper site in the City of Fresno, have given us serious cause for concern."

The statement continued, saying the front office is working to find a solution.

All of this comes as the team has achieved incredible success on the field. Fresno FC has already clinched a spot in the postseason and just last month ended Phoenix Rising's record 20-game win streak with a 2-1 win at Chukchansi Park.

The team has two home games left before the start of the USL playoffs. Those games are set for October 5 and October 12 with kickoffs at 7:30 p.m. on both Saturdays.
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