Tuesday Oct 20 2009
Two pro sports teams relocating to Folsom
By: Don Chaddock, The Telegraph
City annexation plans were deciding factor to make move
Citing future growth as a deciding factor, two professional sports teams are putting down roots in Folsom. The Heatwave, an American Basketball Association (ABA) team formerly headquartered in Sacramento, and the Knights, a former Sacramento soccer team moving from the amateurs up to the professional United Soccer League, announced they are relocating to Folsom. Reggie Davis, owner and head coach of the Heatwave, said he was looking forward to bringing quality basketball to the area. “We’re here to bring to Folsom the excitement of ABA pro basketball,” Davis said. “We recognize that Folsom is a family oriented community. The ABA is rich in history dating back to the 1970s.” Davis said the team saw the city’s plans to annex the area south of Highway 50 as a perfect opportunity. Asked if the move to Folsom was a way to distance themselves from the Sacramento Kings, Davis said that wasn’t the case. “There are two different markets,” he said. “We are still in the business of basketball. We believe our market is underserved in pro sports.” He said ticket prices for the Heatwave are comparable to a movie ticket and much closer than driving to Sacramento. “(The Heatwave) is family friendly and affordable entertainment,” Davis said. Folsom Mayor Steve Miklos said the city’s annexation plans are moving forward and the addition of two professional teams will be beneficial for all concerned. “With the annexation south of 50 that will be happening in the next 12 to 18 months, the city will grow and the teams’ (fan bases) will grow,” Miklos said. “It’s a well thought-out plan.” The mayor said Folsom is a great place for a professional sports team to locate. “We have 3,300 kids that represent 1,500 families in (city-run sports) programs in Folsom,” Miklos said. “These pro sports teams are a perfect marriage for Folsom.” J.R. Gholar, president and CEO of the Sacramento Knights, said the move is a big one for his team. “We are moving from the amateur league up to the pros,” Gholar said. “We are making a tremendous step up.” Gholar said the team has a proven track record. “In 15 years, we won two world championships, a national championship and numerous league championships,” he said. “We are bringing a good quality product (to Folsom).” Gholar said he’s looking forward to getting to know his new town. “We want to get involved in the community and bring quality soccer to Folsom.” The teams will play at the Folsom High School stadium. The first game for the Heatwave is Nov. 21. For more information on the teams, visit sactoknights.com and heatwavelive.com.