Sports Perspective - Goodbye baseball, hello soccer - The Explorer: Sports

Sports Perspective - Goodbye baseball, hello soccer

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Posted: Wednesday, February 15, 2012 4:00 am

In past years, Tucson has played host to the annual spring training for Major League Baseball. Teams such as the Chicago White Sox, Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies have constantly been coming here to Tucson for their spring training.

Last year was the first time in over 50 years that the famous spring training was not held in Tucson. Instead, it was moved to bigger cities like Phoenix, letting down Tucson fans and making businesses feel the economic impact. This was an especially hard hit to Tucson because of the lack of professional sports teams here. Although Tucsonans love watching UofA sports, it’s not the same as watching professional sports.

However, Tucson has bounced back in classic fashion with a huge addition coming in the near future.

Six Major League Soccer (MLS) teams will arrive this month for their first-ever training time right here in Tucson.

Out of the six teams that are coming, the Los Angeles Galaxy, the New England Revolution, the New York Red Bulls and Real Salt Lake will all be playing in the Desert Diamond Cup.

The New York Times projects that this two-week tournament could bring in up to 50,000 fans, and that is great news for Tucson hotels and restaurants.

With this new soccer phenomena comes a lot of excitement. Richard Elías, a member of the Pima County Board of Supervisors, which owns the facilities where the teams will play was quoted in the New York Times as saying, “We’re excited about soccer because baseball really let us down, let down the community.”

In some ways, Tucson is the perfect destination for soccer.  Although it is not the most popular sport in the U.S, soccer is wildly popular around the world, including in Mexico. Last year, thousands of Mexican soccer fans came to Tucson to see the Red Bulls and Sporting K.C. play an exhibition match. The large Latino population in Tucson and Southern Arizona is also expected to bring their enthusiasm for soccer and to attend the games.

What many people don’t know is that soccer is a booming sport, more so than baseball.

According to The Economist, soccer is by far the most popular sport worldwide. Nothing really compares to its fan base in terms of numbers and enthusiasm. With soccer on the rise around the U.S, there is every reason to believe it will be successful in Tucson.

This new excitement of six Major League Soccer teams will bring crowds in, and will also attract new fans to the game of soccer. After a few years of soccer in Tucson, Tucsonans will forget what spring training even was.

You can check out what all the hype is about on Feb. 22 at Kino Sports Complex, when the New England Revolution take on the LA Galaxy at 6 p.m. to kick-off the soccer craze.

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HS Schedule

Tuesday, September 16

Boys Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Buena, Cienega at Marana

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge, Catalina at Amphi (Silverbell GC)

Catalina Foothills, Pueblo, Sahuarita at Sahuaro

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Mountain View at Rio Rico

Ironwood Ridge at Glendale Ironwood

Swimming (@4 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge, Sahuarita at Desert Christian

Wednesday, September 17

Girls Golf (@ 3 p.m.)

Rincon at CDO

Ironwood Ridge, Desert View at Flowing Wells (Silverbell)

Cross Country (@4:30)

Salpointe at Catalina Foothills

Palo Verde, Nogales at Marana

Rincon, St. Gregory at CDO

Sahuarita, Pueblo, Pusch Ridge at Desert View

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Empire at Marana (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

CDO at Queen Creek

Cienega at Mountain View

Sahuaro at Catalina Foothills

Walden Grove at Pusch Ridge

Thursday, September 18

Girls Golf

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Boys Golf

Sahuaro and Salpointe at Ironwood Ridge

CDO, Rincon, Sunnyside at Tucson High

Girls Volleyball (Fr 4 p.m., JV 5 p.m., Var 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Marana at Sahuarita

Ironwood Ridge at Sahuaro (4:30, 5:30, 6:30)

Catalina Foothills at Rincon

Pusch Ridge at San Manuel

Swimming (4 p.m.)

Marana vs. Tucson at Quincy Douglas Pool

Cienega at Marana

CDO, Ironwood Ridge at Amphi

Catalina Foothills at Sahuaro

Freshman Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Flowing Wells at Marana (4 p.m.)

Desert View at Mountain View

Cienega at CDO

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

JV Football (all games at 6 p.m. unless otherwise noted)

Amphi at Marana

Santa Cruz Valley at Pusch Ridge

Mountain View at Desert View

CDO at Cienega

Buena at Ironwood Ridge

Sahuarita at Catalina Foothills

Friday, September 19

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Mountain View, Ironwood Ridge at Mt. Carmel Invitational (San Diego, CA)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

Football (@7 p.m.)

Pusch Ridge at Santa Cruz Valley

Catalina at Marana

Desert Vista at Mountain View

Ironwood Ridge at Buena

Cienega at CDO

Catalina Foothills at Sahuarita

Saturday, September 20

Boys Golf

Catalina Foothills, Ironwood Ridge, CDO, at Phoenix Aguila Invitational (all day)

Cross Country

Marana at Old Pueblo Invite(Lincoln Park)

Mountain View at San Diego

Catalina Foothills, CDO at Ojo Rojo (Chandler, AZ)

Swimming

Marana at Wolves Classic (Chandler High)

Girls Volleyball

CDO at Westwood Tournament of Champions

 

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