The partnership features branding initiatives, including dedicated signage at the 38th St/ Washington station, located a few hundred feet from Rising’s stadium.
The opportunity to develop the partnership with Rising became natural due to the proximity of their new stadium to the 38th St/Washington light rail station, according to Hillary Foose, director of communications and strategic initiatives at Valley Metro.
“Valley Metro Rail has had a successful ticket partnership, called RailRide, with the Footprint Center in downtown Phoenix since 2009,” Foose said. “Footprint Center, which is located next to a light rail station, is a multi-purpose arena home to the Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury, and many other sporting events and concerts. The RailRide partnership has served as a model for other sports and transit partnerships around the country.”
Foose added that this partnership model can be applied to professional teams located in an arena or stadium in close proximity to the transit system.
Valley Metro and Rising outlined the benefits of this partnership, highlighting how fans of the club are the biggest winners.
Rising fans can ride Valley Metro Rail, with their fare covered, at any of the 35 stations across the Valley, leaving any worries about traffic and parking behind, according to Valley Metro.
“The benefits for the arena or sports team are primarily an incentive for their fans to use transit and reduce parking needs and traffic congestion,” Foose said. “It also provides a safe and enjoyable travel experience to and from the events. For the fans, it can save money and time and offers a fun, convenient way to get to their destination without needing to purchase fare.”
For Valley Metro, the program will attract new riders to the system, incorporate transit into the overall fan experience, connect the agency with community institutions, and provide guaranteed revenue and streamlined boarding.
“One of the biggest advantages of the club being in central Phoenix is the access our fans now have to the Valley Metro Station at 38th St/Washington,” said Bobby Dulle, Rising president. “Both downtown Phoenix and Mill Avenue are just five stops away from the stadium. Partnering with Valley Metro to provide safe transportation to and from our matches is a win for us and the neighborhood. I can’t wait to see our fans enjoy the local businesses and watch the local community grow.”
Match tickets will double as valid light-rail fare on the day of the event four hours prior to the start of the event, through the end of the transit day.
At the end of the day, Valley Metro and Rising aim for the best gameday experience for riders and fans.
“This type of partnership makes it possible for families to enjoy going together to events,” Foose said. “Riding the train is exciting for youth and the journey becomes part of the overall experience. We look forward to the Phoenix Rising FC season opener on April 1 and seeing how their fans can so easily access the matches and then conveniently travel to and from bars and dining establishments in Phoenix, Tempe, and Mesa.”