Soccer City kicks off on Aug. 4

Soccer City 1852 Visalia will hold a grand opening for its ‘footy and brews’ concept with indoor soccer fields and a soccer-themed brewery and taproom, the first of its kind in the Valley

VISALIA – An indoor soccer facility paying homage to futbol culture and local roots will kick off its ‘footy and brews’ concept this week.

Soccer City will officially open its facility, featuring indoor soccer fields and a taproom, this Thursday, Aug. 4 at 707 W. Murray Ave. in Visalia. The day begins at 2 p.m. with a host of ceremonies including a welcome, prayer, singing of the national anthem and a ribbon cutting. The “First Kick” ceremony will be held at 3 p.m. followed by a ceremonial first toast for the 1852 Brew Co.’s opening of its tap room. The rest of the afternoon will be filled with indoor soccer matches between the COS men’s and women’s teams, local youth teams, and a demonstration of ball control skills by professional soccer players of the Central Valley Fuego at 6 p.m. The facility will close at 10 p.m.

Soccer City is owned by 1852 Visalia, a collaboration between soccer professionals Jeremy Schultz, former general manager of the Fresno Fuego and assistant GM of the Fresno FC (Football Club), and Bill Cummings, former partner in the ownership of the Fresno Fuego as well as the Fresno Grizzlies. Schultz, founder and CEO of 1852 Visalia, held a soft opening on July 29 to thank more than 60 community supporters and sponsors who helped make Soccer City the first of its kind in the Valley.

“The amount of support we have received from the community is overwhelming,” Schultz said. “This place will be a positive influence for families to hang out, kids to play soccer, and people to share a beer all around the game of soccer.”

Soccer City 1852 Visalia transformed a 28,000 square foot metal building at the corner of North Johnson Street and West Murray Avenue into a soccer mecca. The facility features two indoor soccer fields and one outdoors, a brewery and taproom and an outdoor biergarten with activities such as cornhole and foosball.

The artificial turf courts are “street style” meaning they are smaller than traditional soccer pitches to accommodate 5-on-5 pickup games, similar to public basketball courts. The 50 feet wide by 80 feet long courts promote a style of play known as “footy” popularized in metropolitan areas where space is limited. The indoor courts would cater to leagues where players can join for a nominal fee and play eight or nine games in a 10-week window. Fall Divisional League play begins Aug. 8.

The micro-brewery and taproom will operate similar to Barrelhouse Brewing Co. in downtown. Soccer City would be operating under an Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) type 23 license which allows those under age 21 to be in the taproom if they are accompanied by an adult, the business offers games and activities and non-alcoholic beverages and snack food and the minors don’t sit at the bar or serving counter. Soccer City has a 2,000-square foot brewing area and a 2,000-square foot taproom and biergarten for selling and serving beer brewed onsite.

The brewery also taps into the soccer theme with TVs playing matches from around the world and beer inspired by the sport. El Classico, a Mexican lager, is named after the longstanding rivalry between European football club powerhouses Barcelona and Real Madrid, their hazy is called Away Days for fan road trips following the teams, while Unite & Strengthen is a nod to the slogan of the American Outlaws, a national organization of fans supporting the U.S. National Teams for men, women and youth in soccer.

“And we are already getting calls from distributors who want to carry our beer because of our Tulare County-centric brand,” Schultz said.

1852 Visalia takes its name from the year local settlers petitioned the state legislature for county status. On July 10, 1852, Tulare County became a reality. It was also the year Visalia was founded, making it the oldest city between Los Angeles and Stockton.

“We want to educate people on the pride of where they came from and the roots of Tulare County,” Schultz said.

Beginning Aug. 4, Soccer City will be open Monday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Satuday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m. For more information visit www.1852visalia.com or follow us on Facebook and Instagram @1852visalia.

Schultz said he hopes the facility is a reminder of the great and innovative things that are happening in Visalia and the Valley, which is often only known as a place of great poverty and the issues that plague to rural, low-income areas.

“We often take for granted what a wonderful community we live in,” Schultz said. “We hope this facility will be source of pride for the community. I’ve had the privilege of traveling around the world but I always want to come back to my home in Visalia.”

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