MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Professional soccer is officially coming to Memphis.
United Soccer League (USL) announced a new expansion team in Memphis on Monday.
"On behalf of the USL, it's my great pleasure to welcome Memphis to the USL for the 2019 season," USL President Jake Edwards said.
The team will play in AutoZone Park.
Kevin Kane, president of Memphis Convention and Visitor's Bureau, said the 8,000 or more soccer fans who will pack the 10,000-seat AutoZone Park to watch Memphis' third and newest professional team means big business for the city.
"With the soccer fans and the soccer lovers in Memphis and the Mid-South area, we feel very bullish this is going to be a very successful franchise," Kane said.
Daniel Hiner is the general manager of Flying Fish downtown, walking distance from AutoZone Park.
He knows the boost AutoZone Park's other tenant, the Redbirds, has given to his restaurant's bottom line, and he expects the same from the city's soccer team. "Anything that brings dollars in those doors, I'm happy about that," he said.
"Soccer fans are a little more rowdy. They like to have fun. They like to have a good time, so we think it's going to fit really perfectly into the downtown entertainment package," Kane said.
Memphis' USL team kicks off in March of 2019. We're still waiting to hear what the team's name will be.
Welcome our new Memphis athletes with the hashtag #USL2Memphis!