Fresno

Fresno City Council set to hash out Fuego’s Selland Arena stadium deal

Central Valley Fuego FC’s quest to build a stadium in downtown Fresno is – apparently – back on the table. 

The Fresno City Council is holding a closed session meeting on Thursday to discuss the potential sale of Selland Arena and Valdez Hall to the newly-formed minor league soccer club. 

Central Valley Fuego announced plans to build a soccer-specific stadium in the parking lot on the property and renovate and restore both buildings to turn the area into a sports and entertainment hub. 

However, the City Council brushed off the initial attempt at a deal in early March. 

The council was scheduled to discuss the sale with the Ruelas family, the Fuego’s owners, but Councilman Miguel Arias pulled it off the agenda, saying the negotiations were “premature.” 

“In the middle of a pandemic, facing a budget crunch which could single-handedly force the City of Fresno to enact layoffs of essential personnel, the word ‘premature’ is an understatement to describe rushing into a multi-million-dollar land deal for a soccer franchise with insufficient financial information at our disposal,” Arias said at the time. 

Before Arias halted negotiations last time, Fuego President Chris Wilson felt that the deal was headed in the right direction. 

“I think from our perspective we’re moving in an incredibly positive direction with the City of Fresno,” Wilson said at the time. “We feel like we have an extremely supportive council, an extremely supportive mayor and city manager, and we feel like we’re getting really close to getting a deal done with the city.”

No additional details regarding the negotiations were available. An agenda for Thursday’s Fresno City Council meeting notes the purpose of the sit-down is to discuss “price and terms” of a potential sale.

Daniel Gligich
Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.