5 minute read
Soccer City 1852 Visalia
Story by Natalie Caudle | Photos by JJ Fry
In the newly designated sports corridor, just up the road from Rawhide Stadium, sits Soccer City 1852 Visalia. For years, Jeremy Schultz dreamt of a new way to bring the most-followed sport in the world to the heart of Visalia, with a little extra joy sprinkled in for the fans.
On December 4, 2021, 1852 Visalia broke ground in an old pipe yard on Murray Avenue. Two acres of land were repurposed for the soccer community of Tulare County. Jeremy envisioned a space where athletes and fans could both enjoy an afternoon; a little street-style footy mingled with craft brews. In partnership with Bill Cummings, Jeremy and the rest of the 1852 Visalia partners created a space specifically tailored to the local community. Centered around eight game seasons, 1852 Visalia is a destination for soccer fans of all ages, genders, and skill levels. The space was created with an urban vibe and houses three 80’ x 50’ fully enclosed artificial turf fields. Tables will span the open spaces allowing fans to cheer on their favorite soccer player after grabbing a refreshment from the on-site brewery, 1852 Brew Co.
“The goal of this project is to connect with our community. We aim to employ people who are rooted here in the Valley. They know our lifestyle, our culture; they have pride in where we come from,” beams Jeremy. “We want people from all parts of the Valley to come in and know this is a Tulare County space.”
In an effort to include facets of the county, each field is sponsored by and named after local companies and organizations: banners and logos for 4CG Field, Family Healthcare Network Field, and TCOE Character Counts Field welcome athletes to their turf. Dasher boards are almost completely filled with local business advertisements. Community support is evident throughout the sports center.
Local businessman Grant Smith is thrilled to see vibrance returning to this area of town. “Right now is an exciting time as we see development expanding into areas that have been overlooked for many years. It’s exciting to see Jeremy and the Soccer City crew turn a seemingly unusable space into a destination for all ages. And to pair the love of the game with the love of craft brew from Master Brewer Will Peltzer will take the time spent there to a whole new level. This project is a win for our community, north downtown, craft beer lovers, and soccer players of all ages.”
The 5v5 format allows for athletes to enjoy soccer’s street-style twist while improving their technique. Reagan Neese, a 14-year-old Visalia resident, eagerly awaits the new soccer spot. “I can’t wait for the complex to open and to step out on those fields. Turf play is much faster than playing on grass…it’s going to help keep my footwork dialed in. It’s going to be a great place to hang out with friends and I have a feeling I will be spending lots of time there!”
Jeremy is eager to provide opportunities for kids from all backgrounds and abilities. He looks forward to meeting the needs of the community and fostering positive life skills. The spirit of inclusion is evident in all aspects of the project. Even the walls are adorned in local and international soccer scarves that represent clubs from around the world, which speaks to the welcoming atmosphere and true heartbeat of the sport. “1852 is a home for young players to express their creativity with the ball,” says Jeremy. “We hope to eliminate the pressure young players feel when coaches and parents are barking commands during games. Despite good intentions, we adults often overcoach our players and don’t allow them to make their own split-second decisions. But players learn from making mistakes. With 1852 footy, street-style soccer, our goal is to foster an environment where players have the freedom to create. Our area has a long history of amazing footballers, and now they have another playground to enhance their love for the game!”
Whether through soccer, brews or meetings in the party room (available to rent once the facility opens) Jeremy’s hope for 1852 Visalia is that it becomes the local space for connection. While North Downtown gets a bit of a facelift with the new 1852 Visalia facility, for footy and brews fans it’s destined to be a new home away from home. Follow them @1852Visalia to stay up-to-date on the grand opening and other events!
The oldest professional football club in the world still in existence today is Sheffield FC. It was founded in 1857, and they have fluctuated in different tiers of play in England.
The most fans to attend one football match took place in 1950 in Rio de Janeiro. A total of 199,854 people watched Brazil play Uruguay in the World Cup.
For the last few World Cups, roughly half the world’s population has tuned in to watch or listen.
The United States has dominated the Women’s World Cup since the inaugural 1991 tournament. They have four titles and one runner-up out of the eight tournaments.
1852 is a home for young players to express their creativity with the ball.