June 12, 2012 - Professional Arena Soccer League (PASL) - San Diego Sockers
The San Diego Sockers, three-time Professional Arena Soccer League champions and thirteen time indoor champions, will return to their original playing home in the 2012-2013 season. The Sockers today announced an agreement with AEG and the Valley View Casino Center (formerly the San Diego Sports Arena) to bring indoor soccer back to Sports Arena Boulevard and re-unite San Diego's most successful professional sports team with its longtime iconic home.
The new deal covers the 2012-2013 PASL season. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
"We are very excited to return the Sockers to their original home," said Sockers general manager John Kentera, "This is a proud day for our organization and we look forward to bringing another championship to the site of our first ten titles."
The Sockers first came into existence as an indoor franchise for the 1980-81 season but captured the hearts of San Diego fans at the old Sports Arena when they made a remarkable playoff run to capture the 1981-82 North American Soccer League (NASL) championship. The Sockers, under the leadership of head coach Ron Newman, went on to fill the Sports Arena with regularity while capturing ten championships in eleven seasons.
"We're very excited to have the Sockers back home at the Valley View Casino Center where they have a rich tradition of winning and championships, unparalleled in San Diego," said Valley View Casino Center CEO and executive vice president Ernie Hahn.
"It's a chance for us to host a San Diego favorite, a team committed to success, and a chance for us to showcase our $4.5 million of improvements ranging from the players' lounge new seating, to new entrances, flat screen TVs, and a video board. This will be an overall much improved experience for the fans."
The Sockers bid farewell to the Del Mar Arena, their home for the past three seasons. San Diego was undefeated (35-0) all-time at the DMA and won the past three PASL championships under owner/head coach Phil Salvagio, the back-to-back PASL Coach of the Year.
"I'd like to thank (Del Mar Fairgrounds CEO) Tim Fennell, Paul Blaney, Kenny Baker and Scott Struever for all the help they and their staff have put in over the past three years," said Kentera, "the Fairgrounds were great partners for the Sockers and we will always have fond memories of our time at the Del Mar Arena."
The Sockers enter the 2012-2013 PASL season on the cusp of US professional sports history. San Diego went a perfect 24-0 last season in capturing their third consecutive PASL title and US Open Cup, and the team has won 37 consecutive games overall, a streak which is the second longest in the history of American pro team sports. Only the Sioux Falls Storm of United Indoor Football (40 games, 2005-2008) have a longer winning streak.
The Sockers will resume their defense of the PASL championship as well as their pursuit of history when they take on the league's best starting in November at the Valley View Casino Center. Tickets are available through the Sockers front office by calling 866-799-GOAL.