HAMTRAMCK (AP) – A semi-professional soccer team is spearheading an investment campaign to restore an old stadium in the Detroit enclave of Hamtramck.
Detroit City Football Club is trying to raise $750,000 to renovate Keyworth Stadium for use as its new home. Bleachers on one side of the stadium have been condemned, and its 15-year-old turf that’s still used by high school and youth teams is in tatters, The Detroit News reports.READ MORE: Drew Reminisces With Alyssa Milano About Hanging Out During Their Teenage Years
The soccer team officially kicked off its investment campaign recently under a Michigan crowdfunding law passed in 2013 that allows companies to accept loans from small investors as long as they’re Michigan residents. The team has raised nearly $250,000 in one month from more than 125 investors.
“We knew we had passionate supporters,” said Sean Mann, the team’s founder and CEO. “But you have people who love our club and want to help see it succeed, you have people who grew up in Hamtramck, and then you have people who love history. And I think that’s what’s exciting and unique about this project.”
Funds can’t be access by the team until they pass $400,000, but it will use its own reserves to start work soon on the stadium, which was completed in 1936.READ MORE: Michigan Legislature OKs School Accounts Destined For Veto
Plans call for the project’s first phase, including improvements to grandstands and turf repairs, to be completed by May 1, in time for Detroit City FC’s 2016 season.
Detroit City FC was started in 2012 by a group of young professionals, and it plays in a fourth-division league sanctioned by the U.S. Soccer Federation. It outgrew its original rented home at Cass Technical High School, averaging more than 3,500 fans a game this spring in a venue with an official capacity of 2,500.
The team signed a 10-year lease deal with Hamtramck Public Schools, which owns Keyworth Stadium. Superintendent Tom Niczay said that the district is thrilled about what Detroit City FC is doing for the stadium.
“We wouldn’t be able to do it without them,” Niczay said. “I mean, where else are you gonna get $1 million to fix this place?”MORE NEWS: HUD Official Tours Detroit, Sees City's Use Of Federal Funds
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