Utica Considered as Potential Site for Pro Soccer Playoffs
Utica could soon be in the sports spotlight if it gets to host a major championship event that's being discussed.
The Major Arena Soccer League, which includes Utica City FC, has been working diligently on plans for safely completing the 2019-2020 MASL post-season in a central location, with no fans present at the matches. Utica's Adirondack Bank Center is reportedly among the locations under consideration. The league is apparently on the verge of finding a satisfactory resolution. According to a release on the league's website:
The belief exists that if we can safely conduct an event, that the world’s attention to professional indoor soccer and the MASL will be at a level never previously achieved. As plans are finalized, we ask that you remain patient as we plan to have an announcement in the next 7 days.
The highlights of this plan would include:
- A 5-day training camp, followed by a 10-day playoff format
- One centralized location with the most appropriate facilties
- Complete testing, quarantining, social distancing, cleaning/sanitizing, and housing
The eight teams at the top of the standings are: Utica, Florida, Milwaukee, Baltimore, San Diego, Ontario, Monterrey and Sonora. The last two are located in Mexico and would require special assistance to travel across the border into the U.S. The Florida team includes former Utica fan favorite Joey Tavernese.
With very few sports currently in action during the COVID-19 health crisis, this event could create a lot of positive vibes for the Mohawk Valley. Games could be broadcast online. Local eateries could benefit from the influx of players and team officials. And the Adirondack Bank Center could earn a feather in its cap for successfully hosting a major championship.