Professional soccer team coming to the Fountain City in 2024

Published: Aug. 16, 2023 at 8:28 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) -There’s a new professional sport coming to the Chattahoochee Valley, and it’s the most popular sport in the world, soccer.

A Columbus team will be joining the Southeast Conference in the National Premier Soccer League South Region.

A lot of people play soccer growing up, just like J.D Hester and Michael Hitchcock. Now, they’re teaming up again, hoping to take the sport to another level in the Chattahoochee Valley.

The co-founders of Columbus Soccer Ventures are acting on their vision of bringing competitive soccer to the area.

‘’So, it’s just been great to see the sport take off and grow here, and we want to do something to bring a level of professionalism and put a good quality product and a great fan atmosphere out for the folks of our hometown,” Hester said.

Professional soccer teams are rare in Tri-City area according to Hester. So, they’re excited to bring this opportunity to Columbus.

‘’It’s something that both Mike and I are really excited about, looking forward to and we’ve got such a great soccer community here and we know we’re going to have just a fantastic fan base, you know, once we start the season going which will start in the spring of 2024,” said Hester.

Some people have already purchased their ticket for the season opener.

The National Premier Soccer League is coming to Columbus in 2024, meaning they need a team name before they play. Hester said there are a lot of options for residents to vote on.

‘’We got Chattahoochee FC. We’ve got the Columbus Rangers. We’ve got Columbus Calvary. We’ve got Columbus Classics, and we’ve got the team that we grew up playing with was Columbus United,” he said.

Hester also said the focus is not just scoring goals, but also a win for the community.

‘’Soccer supporters are such just passionate fans, and I went to the home opener for hitches most recent team in Annapolis, MD. They drew 8500 fans for their first match,” said Hester. “Big tailgating atmosphere, just a passionate fan base, you know nobody was sitting down during the match, and we want to bring that sort of level of excitement here to Columbus.”

If you would like to help choose a team name, you have until September 17th to get your vote in. To vote and get more information click here.