Chukchansi Park hosted the largest sporting event ever in Downtown Fresno.

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It was a rare opportunity for fans all over the Valley to watch some of the best professional soccer players from Mexico.

Club America, one of that country's best soccer clubs took on Jaguares De Chiapas as part of an exhibition game. More than 16-thousand fans, the most ever recorded at Chukchansi Park began making their way to downtown hours before the 7:30 game time.

Busses of fans from Dinuba and Visalia in the south, to Merced in the North Valley packed out the stadium in colorful jerseys. Many sporting Mexican flags.

Club America, the team in blue and yellow was clearly the crowd favorite.

It's been 15 years since Club America played in Fresno, and it could be at least that long before they come back. So for many of these fans, this may be their only chance to see the team play.

With the huge crowd not only paying money for seats, but ten and twelve dollars for a can of beer and seven dollars for a slice of pizza, the game proved to be an economic boost for not only the Chuck, but great exposure for Downtown Fresno.

Kate Borders of Fresno's Downtown Fresno Partnership can't wait for the next big event. She said, "What we want is for people to constantly be seeing downtown. Every demographic, every age, everyone from all over -- and what this did is it brought people from not only Fresno, but around the Valley. And we want downtown to be downtown for the Valley and so that's huge for us."

The players Wednesday night were not the second string guys, but the big name players.

Unfortunately for most of the fans, Club America lost the game, two to nothing.

From Fresno, Club America goes to San Diego and then San Jose for two more exhibition games before they begin their season in Mexico.

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fresno downtown, fresno, fresno county, sports, liz harrison
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