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Cheering New Sports All Year Long: The Versatile Arena at the New ‘Joe’


Sep 6, 2023

Football in America has its own unique identity compared to futball in other parts of the world, but both sports now have a home in Huntsville at Wicks Family Field at Joe Davis Stadium. The multiuse facility was officially opened by city officials on May 16. Just three days later, the first professional soccer game in the city’s history took place. In the fall, high school football teams will compete under the Friday night lights.

Mayor Tommy Battle had hoped that the renovation of Joe Davis Stadium would attract professional soccer, and that’s exactly what happened. Last summer, Nashville Soccer Club announced that Huntsville City Football Club (HCFC) would be its affiliate team in the MLS NEXT Pro league. Chad Emerson, the Managing Director of Business Operations for Huntsville City FC, described the renovated stadium as a dynamic place to introduce professional soccer to Huntsville. The first home game for HCFC was a sold-out event, with fans embracing the fast-paced nature of soccer.

Wicks Family Field at Joe Davis Stadium has not only been embraced by fans and players but has also received recognition at the national level. It has been nominated as one of six nominees for Best New or Renovated Sports Venue by SportsTravel magazine. Online voting for the award is open until September 8, with the winner being announced on October 4.

Community engagement is a core value of HCFC, with programs focused on supporting youth and families, celebrating diversity, and honoring outstanding citizens. The team recognizes local service members and heroes at each home match. Recipients have included retired NASA Director Jody Singer and a 3-year-old battling leukemia. These recognitions aim to create meaningful connections within the North Alabama community.

The stadium redesign was not solely driven by professional soccer. The goal was to create a modern sports venue that could accommodate high school football, lacrosse, city sports clinics, and special events. The turf uses cork instead of rubber, helping to keep the temperature down and allowing for easy removal of field lines.

Dr. Clarence Sutton, superintendent of Huntsville City Schools, expressed pride in the partnership between the school system and the city to create an environment of excellence for high school football. The collaboration aims to invest in the city’s youth and provide opportunities for them to thrive both in school and the city.

As for HCFC, they have two remaining regular-season home games before the end of the season. On September 10, they will face Atlanta United II, and on September 24, they will have their final regular-season match against Chicago Fire II, which is also Fan Appreciation Day.

To learn more about Wicks Family Field at Joe Davis Stadium, visit mlsnextpro.com/huntsvillecityfc/stadium.

By Editor

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