Forward Madison FC will return to Breese Stevens Field in 2021, the team announced Thursday.
The Flamingos will start the season with a limited capacity of fans, pursuant to new social distancing guidelines in the latest Public Health Madison & Dane County order.
Forward Madison led USL League One in attendance while at Breese Stevens Field in 2019, but hosted games in Wauwatosa last year due to COVID-19. The Flamingos will kick off a 14-game home schedule on May 15 against North Carolina FC.
“Breese Stevens Field is and always will be the home of Forward Madison,” COO & Owner Conor Caloia said in a statement. “We are excited to be able to return to our fans and our city. The Flock and Forward Madison fans create a home-field advantage unlike any other in the USL, and we look forward to bringing that back to life on May 15.”
Andrew Schmidt, president of Forward Madison’s independent supporters’ association The Flock, said the Flamingos’ homecoming has special meaning to the team’s fans.
“This past year has been really hard for a lot of people, and especially for those who’ve lost friends and family to this virus, heroic frontline healthcare workers, and people in the hospitality industry, many of whom are FMFC fans,” Schmidt said in a statement. “For some, bringing soccer back to Breese is a bright light at the end of what’s felt like a very long, dark tunnel. We know we’re not out of the woods yet, but we can’t wait to be back.”
Current restrictions permit fans to be seated in household groups six feet apart from other household groups, meaning The Flamingos will host games at a greatly reduced capacity to start the season. Forward Madison season ticket holders will be given first priority for 2021 tickets.
“We are working on an interpretation of the new orders to get our fans safely seated,” Caloia said. “As these orders change, we appreciate our fans’ patience as we continue to adapt to them.”
Forward Madison has worked closely with Public Health Madison & Dane County over the past 12 months and greatly appreciates its help in returning to Breese Stevens Field, the club said in a statement.
Seat assignments and single-game ticket information will be available in early May. Meanwhile, season ticket packages are available now on Forward Madison’s website.