PHOENIX — After Phoenix city council members approved a new lease agreement between the city and Phoenix Rising soccer club to build a temporary stadium near Sky Harbor Airport, word spread fast.
The Rising’s temporary stadium, which will be built near 40th Street and Washington, is right next to the Phoenix Park ‘N Swap.
Vendors who have been going there for decades are hopeful the new stadium will bring a positive economic impact to the area.
Taking a stroll through Phoenix Park ‘N Swap, it’s easy to see, they have just about everything.
After all, it’s been here since the 1960’s when management at American Greyhound Racing decided to better utilize their empty parking lot when the racetrack was closed.
Today business is still going strong for vendors like Omar Sultani and Mina Cartagena.
“One of the old timers,” said Sultani. “I always say it’s like a hidden gem.”
“This is my second job,” said Cartagena. “This is my exciting job… I sell Avon and I sell Tupperware and we’ve been doing it for 28 years.”
Tony Caraveo has dozens of clothing shops on the grounds.
“Every time, every year, it goes better and better… thank God,” he said.
When these vendors recently learned about the Phoenix Rising soccer club’s plans to build a temporary stadium next door, just in time for the 2023 season, they were thrilled.
“Definitely excited about the partnership with the Phoenix Rising,” said Sultani. “I think it’s going to inject a lot of energy and excitement into this area.”
“I think it’s exciting in the matter of fact that a lot of Hispanics like, fútbol… soccer, so that will merge perfectly with us,” said Cartagena.
“We are in the west, southwest side of the Phoenix Park ‘N Swap, where the vendors park right now,” said Aaron Feinberg, the general manager. “…but in four months, we’re going to be standing in the middle of a soccer field.”
“It’s going to be a really great relationship and we couldn’t be more excited,” he said.
Feinberg has been in close contact with the Phoenix Rising for months.
“Working behind the scenes to make sure that we align, and we expect no significant impacts to the swap meet at all,” said Feinberg.
With 20,000 people a week coming through their gates…
“…combined with what The Rising can do, we really understand that this is the best way to activate this site, in general, to get the most interest for a really underutilized part of the community,” he said.
Vendors have high hopes they’ll contribute to bringing the team more fans, while at the same time, that the team’s presence next door brings a boost for the local vendors.
“It’s good for both sides, you know,” said Caraveo.
For years The Rising has moved around from Peoria to Scottsdale and then Tempe before spending the past couple of seasons at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler.
Their new chapter in Phoenix is expected to begin with the stadium completed by the start of the 2023 season in March.
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