Detroit City FC made a big move on Wednesday, submitting a proposal to the Hamtramck School Board to fund renovation work on the 79-year-old Keyworth Stadium. The goal of the project is to turn the statdium into the new home field for the football club.

Detroit City FC started four years ago and have enjoyed a steady climb in popularity since its launch, consistently drawing sellout crowds at the current field at Cass Tech High School. However, the success has led them to outgrow their current home, and now, they have their eyes set on a new facility to further the growth of the organization.

The proposal positions the club along side the City of Hamtramck and Hamtramck Public Schools in an effort to create a lasting investment in the club and the surrounding community. If the proposal is accepted, the organization aims to complete the rehabilitation work at Keyworth Stadium in time for the start of the 2016 National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) season.

According to the team, there isn’t currently a stadium in the city that can accommodate their growing fan base while maintaining the intimate feel of the games fans are used to.


Keyworth Stadium in Hamtramck opened in 1936 and is the first Works Progress Administration (WPA) project completed in Michigan. Its primary function has been hosting community events and the sports teams of Hamtramck Public Schools and several Catholic schools.

With a population of approximately 23,000 residents in just over two square miles, Hamtramck is the densest city in Michigan, and it’s also the most diverse. Over the years, immigrants from the Middle East, Southern Asia as well as Eastern Europe have joined Polish immigrants. This global influence means a there is significant interest and passion around soccer and the move could help the club grow.

Here are some quick facts about the stadium and construction plans, from the team:

What will the improvements look like?

  • Key structural improvements to the west (press box side) grandstand and repair of all the wooden bleachers to allow for complete access throughout.
  • Updated the locker rooms and public restrooms under the west grandstand.
  • Concrete repair in the east grandstand to create a traditional standing supporters terrace.
  • Repairing the field lighting at the stadium to DCFC’s standards, and make immediate grooming of the field turf at the stadium, with intentions to install a grass field in the near future.
  • Installation of brick and concrete terraces with an intimate seating arrangement that will be more reminiscent of European grounds than the current metal and plastic high school stadiums.
  • Secure, off-site parking within walking distance of the stadium.
  • Supporters would enjoy a greater selection of food trucks, concessions, merchandise, and adult beverage tents, all at a scale not conceivable at our current venue
  • These improvements would increase the capacity to 6,000, with room to grow with future improvements.

Who is paying for all this?

  • The rehabilitation work to Keyworth would be funded through a combination of club funds, traditional small business loans, as well as through a new community investment campaign that would allow supporters to directly loan money to DCFC and earn interest on that loan as a way to grow their club and community.
  • Keyworth Stadium would remain the property of Hamtramck Public Schools, and Detroit City FC would retain the right to host a certain number of games and community events throughout the year through a long-term lease agreement.

In addition to the aforementioned funding model, the club will also launch a community investment campaign through a crowdsourcing campaign similar to Kickstarter, which would give supporters the opportunity to support the move.

The model differs from Kickstarter in that supporters will earn a financial return on their investment, rather than making a donation or pre-purchasing a product. The club would offer tiered levels in a community-sourced “revenue share loan,” which would be repaid, with interest, according to the revenues earned by DCFC. This would allow the club’s supporters to share in some of the risk and some of the upside of the club’s operations.

The organization notes that ticket prices will remain the same for the 2016 season. Additionally, with the array of bars and restaurants within walking distance of the stadium, the team believes that the move will only enhance the current game day experience that fans know and love.

For the Detroit purists who may be upset about the move, the club claims that their long-term goal is to have a soccer-specific stadium of our own in the city of Detroit.

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