Colorado College Tiger Hockey and Colorado Springs Sky Sox Baseball are the two teams that offer major sporting events in Colorado Springs. With the United Soccer Leagues’ recent confirmation of a franchise expansion, however, another sport may soon be added to that list.
Martin Ragain, operator and owner of Ragain Sports, recently purchased a United Soccer Leagues PRO franchise and announced Thursday that the team will make its home in Colorado Springs, becoming the 14th team in the USL PRO League. The team is expected to begin play in March of 2015.
Ragain, who is also the owner of ME Engineers, an international mechanical and electrical consulting firm, has designed the stadium lighting for some of the most well-known sporting venues around the country, including Sports Authority Field. Owning a sports team is the next step in his successful career and is something that he has wanted to do for a very long time.
“It has been a life-long dream to own a professional sports franchise,” Ragain said in a news statement released by USL. “We look forward to building a franchise that soccer fans throughout the Colorado Springs region can be proud to support.”
This recent and exciting development is still in early stages of completion, with a team names and location of play still in question. Ragain Sports expects that the team will play its games next to the Colorado Springs Sky Sox baseball facility in Sand Creek Stadium. A community wide “Name the Team” contest has been started.
Being dwarfed by the large television contracts and fan support of the NFL, MLB, and NBA, professional soccer in the United States seemed to be flirting with failure for the past decade. In recent years, however, soccer’s popularity in the states has surged.
This growth is not only being seen in the MLS. By expanding its programs, the USL has created vast opportunities for professional players in North America. USL PRO’s expansion into Colorado is just one example of the league’s development in recent years. The league, which only started its inaugural season in 2011, already added two new teams that are expected to join league play this coming season.
“The momentum continues to build for USL PRO with the addition of a franchise in Colorado Springs for 2015,” Unites States Leagues president Tim Holt said in a statement. “With Sacramento Republic FC and OKC Energy FC kicking off in 2014, this announcement continues to build the league’s western presence, with additional announcements expected soon.”
Colorado Springs should be excited to welcome an exciting new chapter of professional sports to the city.