Thursday, October 25, 2018

Detroit City FC to unveil new Elmwood Park Fieldhouse with Saturday celebration

Posted By on Thu, Oct 25, 2018 at 9:23 AM

click to enlarge One of the pitches at Detroit City FC's new fieldhouse in Elmwood Park - LINDSEY PEHRSON
  • Lindsey Pehrson
  • One of the pitches at Detroit City FC's new fieldhouse in Elmwood Park

Detroit City FC, the celebrated semi-pro soccer team of Hamtramck, is expanding beyond the city within our city.

The 75,000 square-foot Elmwood Park Fieldhouse at 3401 East Lafayette will mainly house the business operations of the team, but will also feature a DCFC-themed bar, two practice pitches, a club merchandise store and a body-positive cycling studio called Rebel Cycle.

“It’s a place that will serve as a home for DCFC but will also be an accessible, fun place for the community to congregate as well as an incubator for start-ups,” DCFC CEO Sean Mann says. “We want to encourage people as much as possible to engage with the facility.”

While the focus is clearly on soccer, the fields are open, at an affordable rate, for anyone interested in hosting a league there, Mann says. The facility is already set to host a lacrosse and ultimate frisbee league, alongside the DCFC-organized soccer leagues.

The space will also be the home to the DCFC/Detroit Police Athletic League’s youth select program, which provides high-level competition for young Detroit soccer players.

“We have a lot of weeknight co-ed leagues that go from fun to competitive,” Mann says. “Friday nights, we have Super Liga, which is our most competitive league, but there will also be a DJ and discount drinks, so it will be fun for spectators, too.”

DCFC converted the facility from a decrepit ice rink, where the Detroit Red Wings practiced once upon a time. Renovations were supported by the city in the form a $40,000 grant from the Motor City Match fund, which helps establish expanding, home-grown businesses in vacant real estate.

“We’ve grown 40% year over year since we started, but it’s still not easy for us to borrow money,” Mann says. “So the city’s grant was really a helpful tool for us.”

At a ribbon cutting ceremony on Monday, Mayor Duggan hailed the new facility as a success.

“This is really a high-end facility our residents should have, so another positive step in the right direction: Take a vacant building and make it into a recreation center.”

The grand opening will kick off on Saturday around 3:00 pm with open clinics with DCFC coaches and a drop-in game on the boarded pitch. DCFC’s legendary alumni, some of whom are memorialized on a Hamtramck mural, will take the field for a pick-up charity match at 6:00 p.m.

Tickets are $20, and all proceeds benefit the Select youth program.

Will Feuer is an editorial intern at Metro Times.

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