HARRISBURG -- The Heat is on.
The Harrisburg Heat soccer team is back and is joining the Professional Arena Soccer League (PASL) beginning in November, both the team and league announced Wednesday.
The newly-formed franchise is owned by Harrisburg Heat Sports Group, LLC (HHSG, LLC) and led by David Grimaldi, the former deputy commissioner of MISL and past commissioner of the National Indoor Soccer League. The Heat, named after the original Harrisburg Heat first formed in 1991, will play its games at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center.
CBS 21 News Sports Director Jason Bristol was the first to report the revival of the franchise on Tuesday night. Professional indoor soccer, also known as arena soccer, was last played in Harrisburg in 2003.
"My words may not accurately express how excited and proud we are to 'turn up the Heat' again in Harrisburg," said Grimaldi during a news conference at The Farm Show. "This day has been our goal for many years. We thank the commonwealth of Pennsylvania and its Department of Agriculture for their approval and for paving the way for the Heat to once again call The Farm Show our home. "To the Heat fans of Harrisburg and central Pennsylvania, we thank you for your patience and your loyalty."
With the addition of the Harrisburg, the PASL, now in its fifth season of existence, has 14 members; the Illinois Piasa, Cincinnati Kings, Ohio Vortex, Louisville Lightning, Detroit Waza, Kansas Magic, San Diego Sockers, Anaheim Bolts, Arizona Storm, Tacoma Stars, Revolucion Tijuana, Turlock Express, and the newly announced Dallas Sidekicks. The season runs from November through March with each team playing 18 games, comprised of 16 regular season league contests (8 home/8 away), plus two US Indoor Open Cup tilts.
"The addition of the Heat marks a milestone for the league as this expands our footprint to the East Coast," said PASL Commissioner Kevin Milliken in a statement. "Harrisburg has a strong arena soccer history and we're excited to bring the sport back to that market. We are fortunate to have someone like David Grimaldi managing the Heat. His career in our sport has spanned five decades, at all levels, and his experience invaluable."
Milliken attended the news conference in Harrisburg. Former Heat head coaches Jim Pollihan and Richard Chinapoo attended the announcement, as well.
According to the team, season ticket plans include a 10-game package (8 regular season games, 1 playoff game, plus one additional game to be determined) with each box seat priced at $160; 'centerfield' seats at $130 per seat; seats behind each goal cost $100; and a general arena bowl seat is priced $80. Parking fees are included in the season ticket price.
Some information used in this story was provided by the Harrisburg Heat.