Brett Lashbrook got his wish.
The owner of the Las Vegas Lights FC asked to host Reno 1868 FC in the team’s inaugural season home opener, and the United Soccer League announced Friday the matchup is set for March 24 at 8 p.m. at Cashman Field. The date comes a week after the team’s first-ever regular season game, as the Lights are set to open their campaign at fellow expansion side Fresno FC on March 17.
“There is no other way to say it: This is exactly who we wanted to play for our inaugural USL home match,” Lashbrook said in a statement. “Beat Reno. Early and often. Every time. That will always be a core goal of our club.”
The dates against Fresno and Reno are the first two matches of what will be a 31-week, 34-game regular season for the Lights, as the USL expands to 33 teams. The league also announced the Lights will join the 17-team Western Conference.
The Western Conference is made up of Fresno, Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC, the LA Galaxy II, OKC Energy FC, Orange County SC, Phoenix Rising FC, the Portland Timbers 2, Real Monarchs SLC, Reno, Rio Grande Valley FC, Sacramento Republic FC, Saint Louis FC, San Antonio FC, the Seattle Sounders FC 2, the Swope Park Rangers and Tulsa Roughnecks FC.
The USL’s 16-team Eastern Conference consists of new teams Atlanta United 2, the Indy Eleven, Nashville SC, North Carolina FC and Penn FC, as well as Bethlehem Steel FC, the Charleston Battery, the Charlotte Independence, FC Cincinnati, Louisville City FC, the New York Red Bulls II, Ottawa Fury FC, the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, the Richmond Kickers, the Tampa Bay Rowdies and Toronto FC II.
Season tickets for the Lights are available starting at $200 and single-game tickets for the team’s first three exhibition matches and the regular-season home opener against Reno are available beginning at $15 at LightsFC.com.