TAMPA, Florida – Major Arena Soccer League 2 (M2) has approved Santa Fe as a new franchise for the league starting in the 2023-24 season, Commissioner Chris Economides announced Saturday.
It will be New Mexico’s second M2 franchise as the Albuquerque-based New Mexico Runners – who play at the 6,000 seat Rio Rancho Events Center – are currently in their fourth season of play.
The new Santa Fe team – as yet unnamed — will be owned by David Fresquez, a longtime Santa Fe business owner.
The league says the Santa Fe team wiill play at the Genoveva Chavez Community Center in the facility’s 1,200 seat ice arena. The Center is operated by the New Mexico Parks and Recreation Department.
“We can’t wait for Santa Fe to be introduced to the thrills and excitement of pro indoor soccer. David has done a great job getting city leaders and other key stakeholders on board so early in the process,” Economides said in a statement. “It is the perfect blueprint for success: a committed owner with deep roots and well respected in the community, a beautiful facility, support from community leaders and a nearby team in Albuquerque to create an immediate rivalry that will be instantly great for the fans in New Mexico.”
Fresquez is the owner of a senior home care company and is president of the Santa Fe Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The Santa Fe native was an all-state soccer player for Santa Fe High School before moving on to play college soccer at Colorado State Pueblo.”Growing up, we always played a lot indoor and it was always super fun which correlates with our city. They want something fun and exciting and good value entertainment,, so I kind of linked the two together. It’s a beautiful game, just faster and a lot of fun,” Fresquez said.
M2 currently has a lineup of 15 teams in two countries, and plays a 12-game regular season starting in December and running through late March.
Meanwhile, the Runners (4-1) are in action Sunday in Texas against the host Amarillo Bombers (3-0). New Mexico, one of two league teams without a loss in regulation so far this season, is led by Mershad Amadhi’s 15 goals, the top figure in the league.