Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Switchbacks FC gain TV deal with Fox 21 for 2018 home soccer matches

Posted By on Tue, Nov 21, 2017 at 8:30 AM

  • Courtesy Switchbacks FC
Earlier this morning, on Nov. 21, Colorado Springs’ soccer team, the Switchbacks FC, announced a new partnership with FOX 21’s SOCO CW to broadcast all 17 home games for the 2018 season. Those are played Saturday nights, April through October, at Weidner Field (6303 Barnes Road), typically around 6 p.m.

“It means a lot for us and the community,” says James Ragain, executive vice president of Switchbacks FC. “It brings a little more legitimacy of the type of professional athletes we’re bringing... and it exposes us to a bigger network so that people really understand who we are and what we’re about, and the kind of entertainment we bring.”

The 2018 season will be the Switchbacks’ fourth as an organization, all as a member of the nationwide United Soccer League, which hosted 30 teams in 2017. That’s up from only 12 teams in 2012 — a testament to the sport’s growth in popularity, despite recent upset over the U.S. national men’s team’s failure to qualify for the next World Cup. (Side note: the U.S. national women’s team stands as the most awarded in international play, holding three Women’s World Cup wins and four Olympic golds.)
  • Courtesy Switchbacks FC
Ragain cites average attendance of 3,500 fans this past season, admiring clubs like FC Cincinnati, who broke USL attendance records with upwards of 24,000 fans at their matches. (Weidner Field’s current capacity is only 5,000.) The Switchbacks finished in 9th place in 2017, down from 3rd and 4th places in their first two years. Though not terrible to hit the top third, Ragain, hopeful for the season ahead, says make no mistake, “we’re here to win.”

Here's the full press release:
The Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC officially announced today that the local Fox 21 CW affiliate will broadcast all 17 of the Switchbacks USL home games.

The Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC will be entering their fourth season playing in the United Soccer League, the largest second division soccer league in the world. To better serve its fans, the Switchbacks have partnered with FOX21 and SOCO CW to give local fans a unique viewing experience of their home matches. The Switchbacks are excited about the partnership with FOX21 and SOCO CW as they hope the partnership will also help them reach an unprecedented number of fans throughout southern Colorado.

The Colorado Springs Switchbacks Football Club began playing in the USL during the 2015 season after officially announcing the franchise on December 5th, 2013. The Switchbacks led a successful 2015 campaign, finishing 3rd in the Western Conference and reaching the Western Conference semi-finals. The Switchbacks followed up their inaugural campaign with a consecutive top-three finish and reaching the playoffs in the 2016 season. The club set numerous attendance records during the 2017 season, playing at newly-named Weidner Field. The Switchbacks will continue to compete in the Western Conference alongside 33 other teams including expansion franchises, Fresno, Las Vegas, Nashville, and Atlanta. Austin, Birmingham, and Memphis are all set to join the league in 2019.

FOX21 News has provided news and weather information for southern Colorado since 2001. Broadcasting over an antenna located atop Cheyenne Mountain, FOX21 reaches Colorado Springs, Pueblo, and southern Colorado on over-the air channel 21, Comcast channel 3, DirecTV channel 21, and Dish Network channel 21. FOX21 produces nearly 38 hours of local newscasts every week, in addition to showing FOX network entertainment and sports programming. The station shares a studio in southeastern Colorado Springs with sister station SOCO CW. In 2013, the FOX21 News team won the national Edward R. Murrow Award for Continuing Coverage for its coverage of the Waldo Canyon Fire.

The Switchbacks will kick their 2018 USL campaign the weekend of March 16. Season tickets are on sale now and can be purchased here.
  • Courtesy Switchbacks FC

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