CHARLOTTE – Charlotte FC President Nick Kelly has helmed the Club for nearly a year now. In that year his focus has been split across all the different moving parts that make up an MLS club.
But now, less than a month away from the Club’s first-ever MLS game against D.C. United, Kelly’s focus now fully shifts to the inaugural home and away games.
Since the beginning, Kelly has been vocal about wanting to break the MLS single-game attendance record at the inaugural home match with over 74,000 fans. Things are on track, according to Kelly, with the Club recently surpassing 60,000 tickets sold for the March 5 matchup against the LA Galaxy. All fans in attendance will receive a complementary inaugural match patch, thanks to founding partner Ally. Tickets start as low as $15 each and are available through Ticketmaster.
Fans won’t have to wait for the inaugural matches to get their first glimpses of Charlotte FC’s coaches and players. The Club is hosting an Open Training at Bank of America Stadium on February 10th, an opportunity for fans to get an inside look at what training sessions are like under Head Coach Miguel Ramírez and a chance to see all their favorite players in person. Free tickets are available here.
“It will be really important that you see less of me and more of them [players]. We want a team that is approachable and a team that you care passionately about,” Kelly stressed.
But this won’t be the last chance for fans to see their favorite players in person before the inaugural matches. The historic Carolina Challenge Cup in Charleston, South Carolina will feature Charlotte FC.
The Charleston Battery’s Carolina Challenge Cup is an open preseason tournament where invited teams get a chance to play each other in full matches in preparation for their seasons.
“When we are down in Charleston, our fans can actually physically see our team play for the first time,” said Kelly.
Charlotte FC will be playing against the Charleston Battery, Columbus Crew, and Inter Miami at Patriots Point, home of the Battery, starting on February 12th. This will be one of many firsts for fans of an expansion team. The club will host fan events in Charleston on February 11 & 12 to mark this historic occasion.
One of the most anticipated firsts is the first-ever secondary kit, known as the community kit. Fans won’t have to wait much longer, with Kelly saying to expect the community kit around mid-February.
A lot has been accomplished from both the front office side and sporting side in the last year, but Kelly is adamant there is still much left to do on and off the pitch. However, with the progress that’s already been made, he’s optimistic for the future and resolute on the goals the Club set at the beginning of his tenure.
“Our targets haven’t changed - we’re still pretty bullish about it, especially now that we see the team on the field. We still want the largest match [in MLS history], we still want to average 30,000 per game, and we still want to host a playoff match.”
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