PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — As Rhode Island seeks to build enthusiasm around a soccer stadium being built in Pawtucket, the state’s United Soccer League (USL) team has unveiled its name and logo.
Rhode Island Pro Soccer announced Monday the USL Championship team will be named Rhode Island FC.
“In soccer, players and supporters wear the club crest over their hearts. Our team is a club for every Rhode Islander and we cannot wait to open our doors to welcome long-time soccer fans and folks new to the beautiful game into our home,” Rhode Island FC co-founder and Cranston native Michael Parkhurst said.
The crest, which the team says was developed with input from hundreds of Rhode Islanders, incorporates the state’s initials, an anchor and lightning bolts.
“When our club steps out on the pitch, every fan will see that we are firmly anchored in Rhode Island,” Parkhurst added.
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Rhode Island FC team will make its USL Championship debut in 2024, playing their home games at the stadium that is part of the Tidewater Landing project.
The minor league soccer stadium, however, will not pay for itself on its own.
Earlier this year, Gov. Dan McKee gave the tie-breaking vote to approve an additional $27 million in state tax money for the project. The developer, Fortuitous Partners, said they needed more money due to inflation and supply chain issues, bringing the total cost of the project from $284 million to $344 million.
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In an exclusive 12 News/Roger Williams University poll released in October, 56% of respondents opposed the plan, compared to 31% who supported the idea and 12% who weren’t sure.
Aside from the criticism, soccer fans and enthusiasts are welcoming the new opportunity to highlight their sport.
“I just think it’s going to be a great platform to bring people together and just strengthen our community,” said Brandon Iannelli, head coach of Rhode Island Rogues FC. “I think the game is growing all over the world, especially in this country now with the World Cup coming here soon.”
In addition to the 10,000-seat stadium, Tidewater Landing will be home to housing, retail stores, and restaurants on the Pawtucket waterfront.
Season ticket deposits for the inaugural season go on sale Tuesday at 10 a.m.
Club leaders and ambassadors plan to hold fan events at schools, coffee shops, restaurants, bars and other community facilities in all 39 cities and towns:
|City or Town||Location and Address||Time (approximate)|
|Barrington||Nacho Mama’s – 18 Maple Ave.||4:30 p.m.|
|Bristol||Portside Tavern – 444 Thames St.||11:15 a.m.|
|Burrillville||Crystal Lake Tavern – 100 Broncos Highway||2:10 p.m.|
|Central Falls||Project Goal Field – Ledge St.||5 p.m.|
|Charlestown||The Hungry Haven – 5000 S. County Trail||1:30 p.m.|
|Coventry||Borelli’s Pastry Shop – 765 Tiogue Ave.||4:50 p.m.|
|Cranston||CLCF (Cranston HS West) – 80 Metropolitan Ave.||5 p.m.|
|Cumberland||Davenport’s Family Restaurant – 1070 Mendon Road||4:45 p.m.|
|East Greenwich||Besos Bistro – 378 Main St.||10:15 a.m.|
|East Providence||Bayside Stadium – 2000 Pawtucket Ave.||5:15 p.m.|
|Exeter||Exeter Public Library – 773 Ten Rod Road||11:20 a.m.|
|Foster||Foster Country Club – 67 Johnson Road||1 p.m.|
|Glocester||Brown & Hopkins Country Store – 1179 Putnam Pike||12 p.m.|
|Hopkinton||Hope Valley Fire Department – 996 Main St.||2 p.m.|
|Jamestown||East Ferry Deli – 47 Conanicus Ave.||2:30 p.m.|
|Johnston||Atwood Grill – 1413 Atwood Ave.||12:00 p.m.|
|Lincoln||We Roast Coffee – 276 Front St.||10:15 a.m.|
|Little Compton||Wilbur’s General Store – 50 Commons St.||1:10 p.m.|
|Middletown||The Atlantic Grille – 91 Aquidneck Ave.||2:30 p.m.|
|Narragansett||T’s Restaurant – 91 Point Judith Road||12:30 p.m.|
|Newport||Brick Alley Pub – 140 Thames St.||1:30 p.m.|
|North Kingstown||Dan’s Tavern on the Green – 615 Callahan Road||3:30 p.m.|
|North Providence||Coffee Connection – 1744 Mineral Spring Ave.||11 a.m.|
|North Smithfield||Beef Barn – 200 Industrial Road||3 p.m.|
|Portsmouth||Portsmouth Publick House – 1 King Charles Drive||3:20 p.m.|
|Providence||Afrique d’Lounge – 126 Spruce St.||5:40 p.m.|
|Richmond||Fetch – 91 Kingstown Road||4 p.m.|
|Scituate||Granite Farm – 50 Danielson Pike||12:45 p.m.|
|Smithfield||Thirsty Beaver – 45 Cedar Swamp Road||11 a.m.|
|South Kingstown||Audrey’s Coffee House & Lounge – 60 S. Country Commons Way||3:45 p.m.|
|Tiverton||Coastal Roaster – 1791 Main Road||12:15 p.m.|
|Warren||The Guild Warren – 99 Water St.||10:30 a.m.|
|Warwick||Treehouse Tavern – 1094 Centerville Road||4:15 p.m.|
|West Greenwich||Roch’s Food Distribution – 30 Arnold Farm Road||2:30 p.m.|
|West Warwick||Ferrucci’s New York System – 1246 Main St.||12:15 p.m.|
|Westerly||Haversham – 336 Post Road||3 p.m.|
|Woonsocket||Patriot’s Diner – 65 Founders Drive||3:45 p.m.|
NOTE: The club visited New Shoreham on Sunday.