February 24, 2020
In 2012, Detroit City FC was established as a grassroots movement in club soccer. Over the past eight years, the team has proven to be one of the great American success stories in both minor league sports and soccer. Founded under the motto, “Passion for Our City, Passion for the Game,” DCFC satisfied the demand for soccer in downtown Detroit, represents the city in a positive light, and builds community through “the beautiful game.” Eight years after its first kickoff, City continues to bring residents together to root on the boys in rouge and gold.
As the team embarks on its eighth season, here are six reasons to get pumped for DCFC this summer!
It’s been decades since a Detroit professional soccer team took to the pitch. This year, DCFC changes that. It previously operated as an amateur football club competing against other regional teams, but the National Independent Soccer Association announced Le Rouge will join the fully professional league for its 2020 season. The NISA is provisionally certified as a Division III pro league by U.S. Soccer. This move not only grants the team its well-deserved recognition, but it also brings along positive changes for fans. Most matches will now take place on Saturday afternoons and evenings, making attendance easier, and there will be more games per season.
In a year of firsts, DCFC announced 2020 as the inaugural season for the Detroit City FC women’s team. The team will play home matches at Keyworth Stadium and will play in the United Women’s Soccer (UWS) Midwest Conference against the likes of AFC Ann Arbor, Detroit Sun, and Grand Rapids FC. This is a positive step towards inclusion with CEO Sean Mann stating, “Adding a women’s team to the DCFC family is the right thing to do for the sake of our club, our supporters, the broader Detroit community and for the continued growth of the sport of soccer in this region.”
When DCFC moved to Hamtramck’s historic Keyworth Stadium back in 2016, it utilized funds from the crowdfunding legislation, Michigan Invests Locally Exemption, to fix up the stadium. A 109-day campaign raised $725,500 in community investment, with the agreement the team would pay the money back within six years. Two years ahead of schedule, DCFC has completely paid off the debts owed for the stadium’s renovations. The new location helped to boost game attendance and the addition of box seats has grown capacity to nearly 8,000.
DCFC supporters are undying. What started as a grassroots movement quickly evolved into a full-fledged professional team, with much of the credit owed to the masses of fans that show up to every match—rain or shine. The league expected attendance of around 300 for the first-ever game in 2012, instead over 1,000 people showed up. And this support has only continued to snowball. The most rabid and fanatic of these supporters identify themselves as the Northern Guard. These fans stand all game long, sing and chant their support, and light colorful smoke bombs after DCFC goals. One hour before kickoff, NGS leads the March to the Match, an exuberant parade that is only a small glimpse into the energy displayed throughout the game.
This is Le Rouge’s first year playing in a professional league, introducing a new caliber of matchups. All games will be played against other NISA league teams. There are currently eight teams in the league and it is continuing to grow. The first half of the season will be played as a round-robin against these teams and for the second half, NISA will try to add additional teams (they’ve already announced three on the west coast). The season kicks-off February 28 in California at Los Angeles Force. The first home match is March 21 against the Oakland Roots.
Detroit City FC may have gone professional, but the tickets have remained amateur—the price, that is. Basic tickets are $15 and will gain you entry to general admittance seating. A City Card season ticket is $125 and covers every game, both men’s and women’s, plus a pre-game chalk talk with a member of the coaching staff. Act fast for these tickets, in past years they have sold out within 90 days before being posted on eBay for double the original price! Grab ’em while you still can.
Detroit City Football Club ‘Till We Die!