It has been a year since Reno 1868 FC folded. Reno 1868 FC ended their 2020 season with a loss to Phoenix Rising in the USL Championship playoffs. Then on November 6th, 2020, Reno 1868 FC announced that they were ceasing operations. For me and many other people the news was devastating. The club we had grown to know over four seasons was gone.
No one knew that the Phoenix Rising game would be the last game. If the front office knew, it was only one or two people at the very top. The season started like normal. I was excited. I was in a position to continue grow as a content creator. Reno 1868 FC played one game, then COVID hit, then the league shut down. When the league shut down there was plenty speculation of which USL clubs would and would not survive COVID. Some teams and the USL itself might not have survived if they did not have a season. I thought Reno 1868 FC were on the bubble. It probably would have benefited the team not to have a season. Honestly I was concerned that Reno 1868 FC wouldn’t have the funds to continue after 2020 if they didn’t have fans in the stands. When the USL returned all of that went out of the window. My focus was let’s get through this season.
After Reno 1868 FC’s last game, a few people were visibly upset. It wasn’t just about the result. We knew that it could have been the last game. There was a lot of concern when Fresno folded. Fresno was able to pack out the stands and sell out games. Reno was not. Reno was lucky to get half the stadium full by the third season. So the discussion coming out of the third season was if Fresno could fold, Reno isn’t immune from going away. The discussion after Reno’s last game was very similar. Throw COVID in there and the team didn’t make any money that season. So it is easy to understand why people were upset.
Normally after Reno 1868 FC games I hung out with friends. Unfortunately after the game I got into an argument with someone who I thought was my friend. The argument was about me being friend with people in the other supporters group. After that I didn’t stick around. Coming out of that game I didn’t know what my future would be with that supporters group or the team. I was really upset for the next few days to the point where I didn’t want to continue to make content about the team. When the season started back up, the front office pushed me to the side. Some people in the front office wouldn’t even talk to me anymore. They showed me through their actions that they didn’t see any value in what I was doing. Then some of the supporters who I thought were my friends were mad at me. I wasn’t making money off of what I was doing. I was doing it for fun and because I wanted to do it.
I did take a real look at what I was doing. In trying to decide if I wanted to continue, I decided that I did want to continue but I didn’t want all this drama that was associated with supporting Reno 1868 FC. Going into the third season I decided that I wanted to push to where I was making content as at least a part time job. At the end of the 2020 season I was in the same position as I was at the start of the season thanks to COVID. To me it was discouraging not to see the growth I wanted in 2020. In the end I decided that I would continue to do what I was doing for the off season and would see how I felt or what happened when the 2021 season came upon us. However the 2021 season never came.
Following Reno 1868 FC folding their was an effort to bring soccer back. At the time the USL was out of reach. I thought bringing in an amateur team was realistic. I looked at teams like Detroit City FC as examples. Eventually we did get teams in both Reno and Carson City. I was not a part of bringing either of those teams to our area. At this point it is unrealistic that I would be able to lead an effort to put an amateur soccer team together. Unfortunately our community wasn’t interested in my ideas. People in other communities reached out in support. The people here just didn’t seem to care what I had to say. With two soccer teams in our area, finding the funds for a third team (especially a supporter owned club) is unrealistic at this time. Having a primary investor would be key in creating a new team in our area. I would love to see pro soccer back in Reno. I would fully support it.
Some of the best time so far in my life were with Reno 1868 FC. Every game I went to has something that I will remember for the rest of my life. These experiences will be with me forever. Even going back to before the first season started, when we stole our flag back from the Sacramento supporters. Marching into the stadium, players celebrating in front of the supporters, Matt Bersano and JT’s amazing saves, games played in the snow, late game winning goals. There are so many good memories and I miss all of it.