Chattanooga FC Joins MLS Next Pro League
On November 14, 2023, Chattanooga Football Club (CFC) announced that it will be joining MLS NEXT Pro in 2024, a professional men’s soccer league that is affiliated with Major League Soccer (MLS) and will feature 29 teams.
CFC, an independent soccer club founded in 2009, will be one of only two independent clubs in the league, alongside Carolina Core. This is a significant move in a positive direction for CFC.
The move to MLS NEXT Pro will coincide with a significant renovation of Finley Stadium, where CFC plays its home games. The $1.8 million renovation will include a new luxury stadium club experience, new LED field lights, and elevator modernization. In addition, over $300,000 has been invested in skybox A/V upgrades, food and beverage renovations, and general equipment replacements in 2023, bringing the total investment to $2.1 million.
CFC’s CEO, Alton Byrd, stated that joining MLS NEXT Pro will allow the club to fulfill its mission at an even higher level, and that the club is fully committed to the development of its players, staff, and the greater Chattanooga community. Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly, who is also a co-founder of the club, expressed his excitement at the announcement, stating that the move to MLS NEXT Pro will provide stability and credibility for the soccer club, while maintaining its independence and the ideals that made it one of the premier community clubs in the U.S.
CFC has a strong reputation for success on the field, supporter culture, and an unrivaled game-day experience at Finley Stadium. The club recently won its first regular season title for professional soccer in the city, and its ownership structure includes over 3,200 supporter shareholders from all 50 states and 31 countries.
MLS NEXT Pro President Charles Altchek welcomed CFC to the league, stating that the club has been a pillar in the community through its efforts both on and off the field.
Preseason for CFC is scheduled to begin in January, with the regular season starting in March. The majority of MLS NEXT Pro games are broadcast live on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.