The United Soccer League Wednesday announced the awarding of a USL Championship franchise to a local investment group in Milwaukee, Wis.
The club, led by local investors Kacmarcik Enterprises and Milwaukee Pro Soccer, will begin play in 2025 and will serve as the primary tenant of a new, 8,000-seat stadium to be constructed in the Iron District MKE.
The new team will be the first professional outdoor soccer team in Milwaukee in more than two decades. Jim Kacmarcik, chairman and CEO of Kacmarcik Enterprises, was lead owner of Forward Madison FC, which plays in USL League One.
“This is an announcement we’ve been working towards behind the scenes for years, and I’m thrilled to bring high-level professional soccer to the city of Milwaukee,” Kacmarcik said in a statement. “Milwaukee is a premier sports city with a rich soccer culture that runs deep throughout our community. This club, and the entire Iron District MKE project, share an ambitious vision of making a positive impact on the city of Milwaukee, and we can’t wait to get started.”
Iron District MKE, announced earlier this year by Kacmarcik Enterprises and Bear Development, is a project that also includes a 3,500-seat indoor concert venue, a 140-unit residential component, boutique hotel, and dining, nightlife and retail operations.
Here is a artist’s rendition of Iron District MKE. (Courtesy of the USL)
Construction is due to begin later this year.
“We are thrilled to welcome Milwaukee to the USL Championship and look forward to seeing the city’s vibrant soccer community fill their new stadium week in and week out,” COO and chief real estate officer Justin Papadakis said in a statement. “The Iron District MKE project is truly unique and transformative for the city, and we are proud that the USL will be a part of it. Based on what we’ve seen in Madison, we know the new Milwaukee club will be a top-tier soccer organization, providing best-in-class facilities for its players, a world-class soccer experience for its fans, and a commitment to having a positive community impact.”