(chattanoogafc.com) – Chattanooga Football Club announced today that the club will be joining the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA) and beginning play in Spring 2020. NISA has been provisionally sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) as a professional soccer league in the US.
“Over the last few years, our directors and staff have been working diligently towards this day,” said Sheldon Grizzle, president, Chattanooga FC. “We are positioned for even greater growth in the years ahead. Vibrant community engagement is leading our transition to the next level of soccer and we look forward to taking this step alongside our loyal Chattanooga supporters and new shareholders both locally, nationally, and internationally.”
In late 2018, the club announced its intentions to transition to a professional club and league in 2019. “Becoming a fully professional organization, both on and off the field, was a top priority,” Grizzle said. “Chattanooga FC will provide our city an enhanced atmosphere with stronger clubs and a better overall fan and player experience. We are and will always be committed to our fans and to our city.”
NISA was founded in June 2017 and received provisional professional sanctioning from the USSF in early 2018 to begin play in the third tier of USSF professional soccer. In 2017, Chattanooga FC was one of the first clubs to show strong interest in NISA. With good momentum and a well developed plan for growth, there is great anticipation nationwide for NISA’s first full season in 2020.
“Chattanooga FC has long been the standard bearer for independent clubs in this country and we are excited that they are bringing that mindset and capability to NISA. We look forward to the day when a packed Finley lights it up,” said John Prutch, Commissioner, NISA.
Chattanooga FC will complete the remainder of the NPSL Members Cup, which runs through October 26, 2019. The club has five more home games in 2019, including a friendly against NISA founding club Stumptown Athletic from Charlotte, NC.
“Everyone at Chattanooga FC is excited about being accepted into NISA and joining the ranks of American professional soccer,” said Tim Kelly, Board Chairman, Chattanooga FC. “Our interest is always doing, first and foremost, what’s best for Chattanooga FC and our community, and then what we feel is in the best interest of American soccer. This step fulfills a promise to our 3,254 supporter-owners while maintaining the philosophical tenets the club has held since our founding in 2009.”
Fast Facts about NISA:
- Founded in 2017
- League kicks off August 2019, Chattanooga FC to begin play Spring 2020
- NISA clubs include Miami FC, Stumptown Athletic (Charlotte), California United Strikers FC, Philadelphia Fury and more
- NISA is owned and governed by its member clubs
- For more information on NISA, visit NISAOfficial.com