Madison’s first professional soccer team won’t have a name until later this summer … because it’ll take that long for the community to weigh in.
Big Top Events, which operates Breese Stevens Field and owns the Madison Mallards, announced last month that it would bring a United Soccer League Division III team to Madison to begin play next year. At that time, managing director Peter Wilt said it would be the community’s team — and the community would help name it.
Big Top Events President Vern Stenman told Madison365 that the company has already received about 250 suggestions through the website madisonprosoccer.com. He said the company truly doesn’t yet know what the team’s name and colors will be yet.
The naming process has begun, though, in a format soccer fans will recognize: a group stage to narrow the field to eight leading to a knockout rounds and an ultimate champion.
Even as they’re still taking suggestions, the team has opened voting in Group A and Group B, and will unveil two new groups every Wednesday until all 32 qualifiers have been revealed. The quarterfinals will begin June 27, semifinals will begin July 4 and the final will take place after the World Cup final on July 15. Colors and crest will be added in the knockout rounds.
The first two groups of nominees contain some traditional football club names like “Madison United FC” and “Mad City Football Club” along with some more Americanized names like “Madison Lakers” and some that would only work here — “Holsteins,” “Curds,” and “77 Square Miles SC,” for example.
The team stresses that the fan vote is advisory — “Certain trademark and other factors will be taken into consideration,” according to the team’s website. Also, “The schedule is subject to change due to variable deadlines for design and production.”