If there’s one thing Metro Detroiters are passionate about (besides cars), it’s sports. And if you’re a soccer supporter, you know the meaning of true passion.
The Detroit City Football Club was founded three years ago, and has garnered a diehard legion of supporters since it began in 2012. The Detroit City FC, as it is better known, is a member of the National Premier Soccer League, and all home games are played at Detroit’s Cass Tech High School.
Truly committed supporters take part in March to the Match—where, after meeting at Harry’s Detroit to enjoy a few pre-game brews, fans decked out in Le Rouge gear make way to the stadium with drumming, chanting and singing. The March leaves an hour prior to kickoff, and the walk to the stadium gives everyone plenty of time to get pumped up.
The March is something that’s difficult to describe, according to Alex Wright, one of five owners of Detroit City FC, unless you’ve seen it for yourself.
“Imagine a mass of rouge and gold moving slowly through the Cass Corridor,” Wright said. “Usually with smoke in its wake and flags and chants leading the way. Sixty minutes before kickoff, the supporters start their march and by now, hundreds of people participate in it, it gets everyone involved in the mindset to give as much in the stands as our players give on the pitch, and for those of us working the game, the arrival of the March marks the official beginning of game day.”
Your Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers are the first ever title sponsor of Detroit City FC, and as such, the front of players’ home and away jerseys are emblazoned with the Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers logo for the 2015 season. Additionally, the partnership will introduce new programs this season including online streaming of home games and youth clinics this summer.
For the first three seasons, Detroit City FC went without a title sponsor, until the club found a perfect fit.
“We have been waiting for the right partner: one that would make a splash, that was based in Detroit and that our supporters and community had a connection to,” Wright said. “Metro Detroit Chevy Dealers was just the partner we were looking for. It’s a great fit because the relationship is about more than a logo on a jersey or in a program. For example, we are working together to promote the game, by conducting soccer clinics all across Metro Detroit.”
Besides the aforementioned clinics, Detroit City FC is also working on a Neighborhood Champ program, which will treat 60 community members from various neighborhoods in Detroit to a home game match. Bus travel to and from each neighborhood will be provided, along with snacks and T-shirts to the children.
Motor City Brewing Works provides the official craft beer of Detroit City FC, and just released Le Rouge Ale, a reddish amber ale. Try it on tap at MCBW before or after a match! You’ll surely make some new friends over a pint as you dissect your favorite plays from the game.
Wright describes Detroit City FC supporters as passionate and creative, and said that while all sports fans are enthusiastic, what’s great about Detroit soccer supporters is the way they are enthusiastic.
“It appeals to the pride of belonging to a community, and a sort of tribal sense of standing with your team. And it also appeals to individuals that are looking to add more personality and creativity to their support,” Wright said, noting that fans show their support by singing, dancing, chanting and designing signs in order to make themselves feel like they are part of the action.
The Detroit City FC season home opener takes place this Saturday, May 9 as Le Rouge takes on the Muskegon Risers at 7:30 p.m. While season tickets sold out in less than 90 days, group and single game tickets are still available. One thing to keep in mind: make sure you get tickets well in advance. The only way to guarantee yourself a spot at a match is to purchase tickets early online. Last summer, hundreds of people were turned away when tickets sold out, and you don’t want to be one of those people this year! Don’t forget, you can tune into live home matches online all throughout the season.
The club’s motto is “Passion for Our City, Passion for the Game,” and Detroit City FC brings that saying to life on and off the field.
“Detroit and the sport of soccer have always been a good match, at times they have both been counted out or scoffed at, but to the people that give them a chance, they find out it was well worth it,” Wright said. “I think my favorite part about being a part of Detroit City FC is that the club has won over so many fans, and reignited the passion of many others.”