MADISON, Wis. – Madison’s new professional soccer team will be playing at its home field Tuesday night in a friendly exhibition game.
Forward Madison FC will be taking on the University of Wisconsin Madison men’s soccer team. The club’s chief operating officer, Conor Caloia, said seating and concessions will be limited, but the game will be a good chance to scope out the field and get an idea of what the matches will be like this season.
While the team has played a couple of away games in the third division of the U.S. League System, taking close losses, players are looking forward to getting out on their home turf.
“Finally now that the weather is breaking, turning, they can have a home facility,” Caloia said. “They’ve been traveling south for their other games. They’re ready to host a match here and play in front of what’s been a great enthusiastic home crowd.”
Breese Stevens Field is getting some upgrades – about $3 million of renovations to get it up to pro-soccer standards, according to Caloia.
He expects home games to be a boost for nearby businesses and the surrounding neighborhood, which he said the team is happy to be a part of.
“There’s so much happening in this neighborhood. If you were to pick a location where you wanted to put a soccer stadium in the city of Madison or around Madison, this would probably be the right location, based on the demographics, and the energy, and just the development right now,” Caloia said. “So our hope is that we can add to all the great things that are happening in this neighborhood.”
Caloia said the goal this season is to have a team strongly rooted in the community and that home games will be family-friendly and hopefully inspiring.
“We want the youth soccer players of today to have something they can look forward to in the future, and a goal for them that they stick with it and put their heart and soul into it. Eventually, one day, they can be playing pro soccer in their hometown community of Madison,” he said, adding that the soccer club is connecting with youth clubs.
The friendly game starts at 7 p.m. Tuesday, and tickets can be purchased for $15 on Forward Madison FC’s website or at the gate.
Working Draft Beer Company on East Wilson Street will be holding a kid-friendly tailgating event starting at 5 p.m. before the team breaks in the field, according to Facebook.
Forward Madison FC has one more away game before its official opener within its division at Breese Stevens Field April 27. You can buy tickets here.