HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — On Thursday night, the Huntsville City Council voted unanimously to approve the lease to a professional soccer team at Joe Davis Stadium.
On Tuesday, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle said, “Soccer has consistently been one of the most popular sports in the region.” When the City decided to renovate Joe Davis Stadium, officials hoped that pro-soccer would make its way to town.
That hope turned into reality when the City confirmed a partnership with the Nashville Soccer Club and MLS Next Pro Team to play soccer in the brand-new stadium. All they needed was approval from the Huntsville City Council.
For everyone at the meeting on Thursday, the vote was a no-brainer, just a formality.
Nashville Soccer Club is the pro team in Nashville. Next Pro is their division 3 team that will develop young talent, but make no mistake, Huntsville City Administrator John Hamilton says that the acquisition is a goal scored for the city of Huntsville.
“We think that professional soccer and ultimately having a professional team managing the stadium on behalf of the community and supporting all the other events that can come into the stadium will be a great thing for our community,” said Hamilton.
Hamilton added that with professional soccer, there is kind of an anchor, as well as the fact that local high school football teams will get to use the stadium in the fall.
“Those really become the two main tenants, but then other opportunities around that just to bring a quality of life into our communities is just a great thing,” said Hamilton.
The inaugural season for the league is 2022 with 21 soccer clubs playing in the league in total. Joe Davis Stadium is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
The City announced that they will field a team by the 2023 season opener.