RENO — Reno 1868 FC announced last Fridayy it would cease operations following the 2020 season.

“To our fans, our players, our community partners, and everyone who has been involved with Reno 1868 FC, we hope you and your families are safe and healthy amidst these challenging times,” said 1868 FC President Eric Edelstein. “Like you, this isn’t the way we saw 2020 going. With that said, we have made the gut-wrenching decision to cease our participation in the USL Championship.  

“Today we find ourselves in a world-wide community beset by a pandemic and we are unexpectedly forced to make a tough decision. I am heartbroken to let go of Reno 1868 FC and I apologize to all who are disappointed that we are ending our participation in the USL Championship.”

On Sept. 15, 2015, Reno was awarded a USL franchise to begin play in the 2017 season. Through four seasons, Reno has recorded a record of 62-26-28 and earned a playoff berth in all four campaigns. Head Coach Ian Russell has managed our club through challenges seen and unseen. He and his players will move forward in their careers having left a legacy of success beyond anyone’s expectations.

Reno set out on an ambitious project to be only the third professional soccer team in the USL to use an existing baseball stadium to play professional soccer. The Club designed a fully integrated partnership with a Major League Soccer team, only the second of its kind in the United States. 

“Our successful model has helped propel players into the top-flight, both with the San Jose Earthquakes through players such as JT Marcinkowski, Jackson Yueill and Cade Cowell along with ‘off the radar’ prospects like Sam Gleadle, Chris Wehan, and others,” said Reno 1868 FC General Manager Doug Raftery. 

Multi-use stadiums provide the most value to our communities and Greater Nevada Field will continue to encourage existing stadiums to welcome the opportunity to host other sports.

Currently, however, the quality of soccer in America is quickly accelerating and as such would require upgraded facilities. Soccer in America is quickly outgrowing baseball stadiums.

 The Club believed a soccer stadium in northern Nevada would be necessary for soccer to expand and compete in the current landscape of second division professional soccer. This prospect for 1868 FC was difficult pre-COVID-19, but in a prolonged pandemic it became unrealistic.

“All of us in the Reno 1868 FC organization are grateful to our supporters, season ticket members, community partners and everyone who had a hand in our accomplishments,” said Edelstein. “We are optimistic about that time ahead when all can safely resume daily routines. There will be a day again when watching and playing live soccer is again a central part of our lives. We took on an opportunity to be a part of the fastest growing sport and league in North America. While our time has ended sooner than we had hoped, we part with gratitude for journey and optimism for the future.”