(Guest post from Kurt Knaak, Husband of 5 Points Agent Cassee Cunningham)
So, as a baby boomer I never realized or appreciated the interest in the game of soccer. In fact, it was never played in my small hometown. Not even in a pickup game at the local park, let alone organized by a school. The simplicity of it seemed too easy to understand, and almost, boring. Low scores, long periods of play (45 minute halves), nationalistic fight songs sung in unison by the fans, rhythmic swaying to the melodies by the crowds in the stands……it all seemed a lot to do about nothing to me. To be honest 30 years ago, I don’t think many Americans knew about or appreciated this sport.
Fast forward 30 years and wow! Soccer is here. I get it. Yes, I am a soccer fan and I am not the only one. Soccer or, let’s just rip the bandaid off, Football as it has always been known and appreciated on the international stage, has taken hold and grown like a weed. I am so absolutely thrilled that Charlotte is joining the Major League Soccer family with their very own team, wait for it… Introducing Charlotte Football Club.
How did we get here?
Two years ago the billionaire owner of the Carolina Panthers David Tepper, purchased the rights and was awarded a Major League Soccer expansion team for Charlotte on December 17, 2019. This is a really big deal. Professional soccer has been played in Charlotte for years by the Charlotte Independence (since 2014). They belong to the USL One league which is the third tier of the American soccer pyramid. It is akin to a minor league baseball team for comparison. But Tepper had the vision, the money, and the timing to elevate the soccer scene in Charlotte and make us a “Tier 1” host. Thus was born the Charlotte Football Club (FC) of the MLS. An expansion team in the top professional soccer league in the U.S.
Just prior to this development my neighborhood, Elizabeth and Short Walk Home surveyed as to whether or not we would like to have an MLS team use American Legion Memorial Stadium for all of their home games. I was all in on that question as the stadium is but 6 blocks from my house. But, it was not to be as the decision was made to play in Bank of America stadium which was capable of seating more fans. Totally makes sense. The good news is that Memorial Stadium was completely renovated and is now a beautiful venue for the Independence. Win-win!
Elizabeth neighborhood is a fantastic highly walkable neighborhood with a rich history and loads of charm and character. To learn about living in Elizabeth contact Cassee Cunningham our 5 Points Realty agent who speicalizes in Elizabeth.
There is also fantastic urban living in the Third Ward area of the uptown home of Bank of America Stadium. You wanna live in the action. Call Ian Leonard.
Excited about the new MLS team I jumped in with both feet. My wife and I became inaugural season ticket holders and got to participate in the naming of the club, including voting on their logo design. We’ve watched David Tepper invest in this team from top management to all star players and future team headquarters all while waiting for Covid-19 to run its course and allow the season to begin. It was supposed to start in 2021. It’s an exciting time to be a soccer fan in Charlotte and take it from me…. it’s not too late. There are 17 regular home games on the schedule this season. The first one is March 5 and the regular season runs through October with playoffs to follow. Come check it out and see what the world’s most popular game is all about.