|Charlotte Independence roll out 2021 ticket plans and pricing|
|Team moves to 10,500-seat Memorial Stadium|
|Published Saturday, February 27, 2021 3:00 pm|
|A rendering of the renovated Memorial Stadium, which will host the Charlotte Independence in 2021.|
The move is nearly seven years in the making, with the club previously playing at UNC Charlotte’s Transamerica Field, Eagle Field at Winthrop, Rablewood and the Sportsplex at Matthews. The latter two, like Memorial, are Mecklenburg County-operated sites. Memorial will be the largest venue the Independence have called home, with a capacity of 10,500.
The franchise began accepting $25 deposits per seat last September.
Memorial Stadium, Charlotte’s first major event venue in 1936, was dedicated by President Franklin Roosevelt. It previously hosted professional soccer with the Carolina Lightnin’ as well as high school football HBCU Battle of the Bands and professional lacrosse, but ultimately fell into disrepair. The Independence began working with the county on a deal to widen the pitch for professional soccer in 2016, with a $24 million project split evenly between Mecklenburg, the city and the team. It faced resistance due to the stadium’s historic stone wall, which would need to be moved to achieve appropriate width.
In 2016-17, a bid for Major League Soccer under Charlotte Motor Speedway executive Marcus Smith failed, leaving Mecklenburg officials skeptical of what county manager Dena Diorio then referred to as “negotiating away our asset.” The county eventually decided to renovate the stadium for $40 million, with the Independence as primary tenant. The grass surface will be replaced with artificial turf, the historic stones will be restored, along with commemoration of the American Legion in the new stadium.
Construction began in September 2019 and is still ongoing. A delayed start to the USL Championship season from March to May allows for more construction time. The regular season is scheduled to run through October, followed by playoffs in November.
Tickets, which go on sale March 12 with 10 seating options, range from $7-$75 per game for season ticket holders. Premium seating includes VIP field level sideline reserved with waiter service at $1,200 per season ticket and $75 per game and VIP overlook seats with waiter service at $640 for a season ticket and $40 per game.
Club members can also purchase a half season ticket, which is not a VIP option.
• Club members midfield reserved seats South: $448 at $28 per game or $256 half-season ticket at $32 per game.
• Club members midfield reserved seats North: $384 season ticket at $27 per match or $216 half-season ticket at $27 per game.
• Mid-priced seating options are listed as premium sideline reserved—south (bench with back) at $320 for a full season and $176 for a half season with tickets costing $20 and $22 per game respectively.
• Premium sideline reserved—North (bench with back) are $256 and $144 for a full and half-season ticket. Tickets per game are $16 and $18 respectively. Family section—South costs $240 for a full season ticket and $136 for a half, with tickets at $15 and $17 per game.
• General seating options are $192 ($12 per game) in the West corners general admission and $112 ($7 per game) for East End supporters general admission (bench seats). Neither includes a half-season option.
ADA seating options are $240 for a full season and $144 for a half season, and tickets are $15 and $18 respectively.
“We want to keep Independence soccer affordable and accessible to all soccer fans,” club president and COO Tim Schuldt said in a statement. “Coming off a playoff season and going to a brand-new stadium, many teams would see this as an opportunity to increase ticket prices. We just felt if we’re going to be a community-focused team, we shouldn’t do that. We have worked diligently to provide a great variety of experiences and a price point for every wallet.”
A season ticket includes a free Jack’s Brigade membership, $80 value, which the club said comes with select seating area purchases. They will announce full plans for Jack’s Brigade in the near future. The club’s official release made no mention of Jack’s Militia, the founding supporters group, which openly criticized the club’s handling, or lack thereof, of majority owner Dan DiMicco’s anti-Black Lives Matter movement sentiments on Twitter.
“I learned about Jack’s Brigade via an email I received from the Independence,” Jack’s Militia president Ben Goshorn said. “I was initially perplexed and surprised. Is this a supporters’ group? Is it just a title for a benefits package? It’s very vague in the email. The frustrating part is that I’ve chatted with Tim Schuldt before, and he could have reached out to let me know. At this moment I’m left with more questions than answers. I haven’t emailed or spoken with Tim since August of last year. I haven’t reached out to him either for full transparency. What bugs me the most is the name. That’s a blatant rip off of Jack’s Militia. Even if it’s not a supporters’ group it’s a lazy move on his part to name whatever it is that.”
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