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Phoenix Rising Football Club

Airdate: February 9, 2017
The Phoenix Rising Football Club (FC) is a professional soccer club based in Phoenix. The club officially submitted its expansion application bid to Major League Soccer last month. They just signed former Chivas Guadalajara and Mexican National Team soccer star Omar Bravo. Find out more about Phoenix Rising Football Club from Phoenix Rising FC Governor Berke Bakay, and Tim Riester, one of the co-owners of Phoenix Rising FC and CEO of Riester Advertising.

Guests:
  • Berke Bakay - Phoenix Rising Football Club Governor Tim Reister - Phoenix Rising Football Club Co-owner
Category: Sports

Keywords: Phoenix Rising FC,

View Transcript
JOSE: PHOENIX RISING FOOTBALL CLUB, ARIZONA'S PROFESSIONAL SOCCER CLUB, SUBMITTED ITS EXPANSION APPLICATION BID TO MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER LAST MONTH. THERE ARE 11 CITIES IN CONSIDERATION FOR LEAGUE EXPANSION. JOINING ME TO TALK ABOUT THIS IS BERKE BAKAY, PHOENIX RISING FOOTBALL CLUB GOVERNOR. AND TIM REISTER, ONE OF THE OWNERS OF PHOENIX RISING FOOTBALL CLUB. THIS IS BIG NEWS. I WANT I WANT -- I WANT TO START WITH A VIDEO THAT TIES IN THE EXCITEMENT. WE WILL RUN THAT RIGHT NOW.
JOSE: SO FOR THE BENEFIT OF OUR NON SPANISH SPEAKERS HE WAS TALKING ABOUT NEW NAME, NEW LOGO AND NEW OWNERSHIP, RIGHT, TIM? GIVE US THE HISTORY.

RIESTER: l THANK YOU. IT IS A GREAT PLEASURE TO BE HERE AND IT IS IMPORTANT FOR OUR TEAM TO SHARE WITH YOUR VIEWERS THE EXCITING OPPORTUNITIES FOR PROFESSIONAL SOCCER HERE IN ARIZONA. MY PARTNER IN THIS, BERKE BAKAY, LED A TEAM OF LOCAL INVESTORS TO ACQUIRE ARIZONA UNITED.

JOSE: WE HAVE A PICTURE OF PART OF THE OWNERSHIP WE WILL PUT ON THE SCREEN WHILE TALKING.

RIESTER: THANK YOU. SEPTEMBER 1ST WE ANNOUNCED THIS NEW LOCAL OWNERSHIP GROUP HAD ACQUIRED THE TEAM. WE LET THAT SEASON FINISH WITHOUT TAMPERING WITH IT BECAUSE WE HAD SO MANY LONG TERM ISSUES AND OPPORTUNITIES TO SEIZE. NOVEMBER 28TH, I BELIEVE, WE ANNOUNCED THE NEW NAME. THE VIDEO WAS THE NAME CHANGE FROM ARIZONA UNITED TO PHOENIX RISING FOOTBALL CLUB. IN ONE WEEK AFTER THAT ANNOUNCEMENT, WE WERE FORTUNATE TO GENERATE 255 MILLION MEDIA IMPRESSIONS AND THAT HELPED ATTRACT THE ATTENTION OF MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER. AND BERKE AND I AND OUR FRIENDS WANTED TO ATTRACT A MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCCER FRANCHISE HERE TO ARIZONA FOR QUITE SOME TIME WE DIDN'T HONESTLY EXPECT THE OPPORTUNITY TO COME SO QUICKLY BUT SOMETIMES IN BUSINESS, WHEN SOMETHING HAPPENS, YOU HAVE TO WORK HARD AND SIEZE THAT CHANCE. WE HAVE BEEN WORKING LIKE CRAZY SINCE ACQUIRING THIS TEAM. NOW OFFICIALLY HAVE AN APPLICATION WITH MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER AND THEY ANNOUNCED WE ARE ONE OF 12 FINALISTS COMPETING FOR EXPANSION CITY SLOTS FOR SOCCER. SO RIGHT NOW WE HAVE A TEAM THAT HAS BEEN ELEVATED FROM DIVISION THREE TO DIVISION TWO. SO WE ARE GOING TO BE PROVIDING REAL, COMPETITIVE HIGH QUALITY SOCCER FOR FANS TO SEE. IT IS OUR GOAL TO KEEP WORKING TO BRING MLS TO PHOENIX.

JOSE: BERKE, FANS ARE AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE APPLICATION PROCESS BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO SHOW THERE IS REAL SUPPORT HERE IN ARIZONA FOR THIS TEAM TO BEAT OUT SOME OTHER APPLICANTS. TELL US HOW YOU ASSESS ARIZONA'S FANS?

BAKAY: IF YOU LOOK AT THE THREE IMPORTANT CRITERIA FOR MLS AND HOW THEY MAKE THE DECISION. THEY ARE LOOKING FOR LOCAL OWNERSHIP THAT IS PASSIONATE ABOUT THE SPORTS. THAT’S THE NUMBER ONE CRITERIA AND THAT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. THEY ARE LOOKING FOR A STADIUM SOLUTION WHICH WE HAVE AND WILL TALK ABOUT LATER ON. BUT THE THIRD, THE MARKET. IT HAS TO BE THE RIGHT MARKET. IF YOU LOOK AT OUR STATE'S DYNAMICS BETWEEN THE 12 MARKETS WE HAVE COMPETING AGAINST FOR TWO SPOTS WE HAVE THE HIGHEST POPULATION, HIGHEST POPULATION BELOW THE AGE OF 45 WHICH IS AN IMPORTANT METRIC FOR THE SPORT ITSELF. AND HIGHEST EXPECTED POPULATION IN 2030 SO WE HAVE THE FUTURE GROWTH, WE ARE SET UP WELL AS WELL. YOU LOOK AT THE HISPANIC POPULATION WHICH IS AN IMPORTANT METRIC AND OUR STATE IS LEADING THE WHOLE OTHER 12 CANDIDATES. SO IT IS ABSOLUTELY FROM A DEMOGRAPHIC PERSPECTIVE SETUP VERY WELL. BUT WE NEED ALL FANS TO COME OUT AND SUPPORT US. THEY PLAY AN INTEGRAL PART ON OUR APPLICATION. IF YOU LOOK AT SEVERAL OF OUR COMPETITORS THE LIKES OF CINCINNATI AND SACRAMENTO WHO HAVE RUN THEIR USL TEAMS IN THE SAME DIVISION THAT WE ARE. THEY HAVE PROVEN THEY HAVE FANS IN THE RANGE OF 12-14,000 IN SACRAMENTO AND OVER 20,000 IN CINCINNATI'S CASE. WE HAVE A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY TO SHOW THAT.

JOSE: WHAT TIME OF THE YEAR WOULD YOU BE PLAYING?

BAKAY: MARCH 25TH AND ALL THE WAY UNTIL THE END OF NOVEMBER.

JOSE: WHAT ABOUT THE HEAT?

BAKAY: SURE. WE WORK WITH THE LEAGUE THE SAME WAY THE HEAT IMPACTS OUR LOCAL TEAM HERE YOU CAN ARGUE THERE IS MORE OF A NEGATIVE IMPACT POTENTIALLY FOR THE TRAVELING TEAM BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT ACCUSTOMED TO TRAIN UNDER THAT ENVIRONEMNT. WE HAVE WORKED WITH THE LEAGUE AND WE HAVE FRONT LOADED OUR SEASON IN THE MOST BEAUTIFUL MONTHS WHICH IS MARCH APRIL AND MAY AND WE HAVE MANY MORE AWAY GAMES THAN NATURAL IN THE MONTHS THAT YOU EXPECT ARIZONA HEAT.

RIESTER: THAT WAS IMPORTANT WITH THE STADIUM SOLUTION. HISTORICALLY, SOCCER HAS HAD TO PLAY IN SPRING TRAINING BASEBALL STADIUMS AND THEY ARE NOT AVAILABLE DURING THE BEST TIME OF THE YEAR TO PLAY SOCCER. THAT IS WHY OUR OWNERSHIP GROUP ENTERED INTO A GROUP WITH THE SALT RIVER PIMA MARICOPA COMMUNITY AND SOME OF THEIR CITIZENS WHO OWN A DEVELOPMENT GROUP CALLED SOLANO AND WE ARE RIGHT NOW UNDER CONSTRUCTION WITH A SOCCER SPECIFIC, FIFA COMPLIANT STADIUM THAT WILL INITIALLY ACCOMMODATE OVER 6100 FANS AND CAN EASILY GROW IN SCALE.

JOSE: WHERE WOULD IT BE LOCATED?

RIESTER: THE 202 FREEWAY AND MCCLINTOCK, JUST NORTH OF JUST NORTH OF THE 202 ON MCCLINTOCK. LESS THAN A MILE FROM ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY’S MAIN CAMPUS.

JOSE: AND OTHER NEWS LIKE A NEW LOGO AND EVERYTHING. WE HAVE PICTURES OF AN ACQUISITION THAT HAS BEEN MADE BIG TIME AND WE ARE GOING TO PUT THEM ON THE SCREEN NOW OF A PRETTY FAMOUS PLAYER.

BAKAY: IT IS MY HONOR TO ANNOUNCE FOR THE FIRST TIME HERE ON THE AIR THAT WE SIGNED THE MEXICAN INTERNATIONAL LEGEND OMAR BRAVO. THIS IS THE FIRST TIME WE ARE ANNOUNCING HERE ON AIR. AGAIN, OMAR SCORED A 132 GOALS FOR CHIVAS.

Jose: ONE OF THE GREAT TEAMS IN MEXICO?

BAKAY: ABSOLUTELY. 132 GOALS FOR THAT TEAM. HE HAD 65 APPEARANCES FOR THE MEXICAN NATIONAL TEAM AND HE SCORED 15 GOALS FOR THE NATIONAL TEAM. IF YOU LOOK AT THIS HISTORY, HE HAD OVER 300 MATCHES THAT HE PLAYED EITHR FOR ONE OF THT NATIONAL TEAMS OR THE HISTORIC CLUBS IN MEXICO. WE ARE EXTREMELY EXCITED TO HAVE OMAR PLAYING FOR OUR TEAM.

Jose: AND THAT SECOND PICTURE IS PLAYING FOR CHIVAS; RIGHT?

RIESTER: ABSOLUTELY.

JOSE: WHAT DO YOU THINK THE IMPACT IS GOING TO BE OF ANNOUCING HIS SIGNING?

RIESTER: WE MADE A PROMISE TO FANS WHEN WE BOUGHT THE TEAM THAT WE WERE GOING TO DO THIS RIGHT AND THAT WE WE’RE GOING TO ELEVATE SOCCER TO THE HIGHEST LEVEL. ARIZONA HASN'T HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO COME DOWN EVERY WEEK. WE HAVE 32 GAMES AND 16 WILL BE PLAYED AT HOME IN OUR NEW STADIUM. AND FANS NEED TO KNOW IF THEY COME OUT AND THEIR KIDS OR GRAND KIDS PLAY SOCCER THEY CAN BRING THEM OUT TO AN ENVIRONMENT WHERE THEY CAN SEE REAL PLAYERS.

JOSE: WELL ITS ALL VERY EXCITING. THANK YOU FOR COMING. THANK YOU FOR JOINING US ON HORIZANTE. WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING THE FIRST GAME. THAT'S OUR SHOW FOR THIS EVENING. THANK YOU FOR WATCHING. FROM ALL OF US HERE AT HORIZONTE AND YOUR ARIZONA P-B- S STATION. I'M JOSE CARDENAS, HAVE A GOOD NIGHT.
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