DES MOINES, Iowa (Jan. 27, 2022) — The initiative to bring professional soccer to central Iowa has reached a major milestone. Kyle Krause, chairman and CEO of Krause Group, and representatives from the United Soccer League (USL) have officially signed a franchise agreement, which will bring a professional club to Des Moines that will compete in the USL Championship.
In Sept. 2019, Krause and the USL announced that the league was eyeing Des Moines for a USL Championship club, but the deal was contingent upon the development of a home stadium. Now, with support from city and county officials, the local business community, generous donors and the grassroots efforts from community members, the Pro Iowa Stadium and Global Plaza are closer to reality.
“It’s an exciting day for the USL Championship,” said USL CEO Alec Papadakis. “Iowa has a rich soccer history, and Pro Iowa will bring a long-awaited national and international spotlight to Des Moines. Kyle Krause’s longtime commitment to the game, the community, and the USL are without equal. He is the very best person to bring professional soccer to Iowa, and the new Pro Iowa Stadium will be a crown jewel not just for the USL, but for soccer in the United States. Krause Group’s experience operating soccer clubs here and in Europe will help this new franchise become a source of great pride for the people of Des Moines and the state of Iowa.”
The USL Championship is sanctioned by the U.S. Soccer Federation as a Division II professional league. The organization has more than 27 member clubs across the U.S. and Canada with a reach of more than 84 million people.
“This announcement has been years in the making,” said Kyle Krause. “We’re thrilled to bring a new professional soccer club here with USL. This is a great opportunity to add another enticing benefit to living in central Iowa. We are excited to showcase Des Moines on a national and international stage. We could not have done this without the foundation laid by Iowa’s soccer community. The support for and success of the Menace has been a key factor in creating the right environment to support a USL Championship club.”
The franchise agreement is a significant next step for the Pro Iowa Initiative and the Iowa Soccer Development Foundation’s (ISDF) efforts to bring the Pro Iowa Stadium and Global Plaza to life. Construction of the stadium and plaza on the former Dico site is scheduled to take place later this year following completion of its current round of capital raising. The ISDF, the fundraising arm of the Pro Iowa Initiative, has completed 87% of its $25 million fundraising goal. Once constructed, Des Moines’ USL Championship club will be poised for first kick in 2024.
This announcement kicks off a flurry of activity. Community input is needed to develop the team’s name, crest, and other branding. To participate in the fan community and assist in the branding effort, fill out the survey at https://uslproiowa.com/team/.