HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Soccer fans, get excited! A professional soccer team is coming to Huntsville.

The city of Huntsville and Nashville Soccer Club announced the launch of their MLS NEXT Pro team in Huntsville, which will begin playing in 2023.

MLS NEXT Pro, a professional men’s soccer league, began in March with 21 clubs. The league says they are committed to driving a new era of North American soccer by offering fresh opportunities to players, coaches, referees and sports business professionals.

When the Joe Davis Stadium renovation is complete, it will seat 6,000 fans and will accommodate other groups as well like Huntsville City Schools football games on Friday nights. The multiuse fields will also be available for ultimate frisbee, rugby and lacrosse, and other events like concerts and religious services.

“Soccer has consistently been one of the most popular and fastest-growing sports in our region,” Mayor Battle said in a statement. “When the City decided to renovate Joe Davis Stadium and convert its playing field to a multiuse field, we hoped pro soccer would find a way here. Today, we are proud to deliver this exciting sports amenity to our community.”

The City will present an agreement with the pro soccer club to City Council for approval at its July 14 regular meeting. The contract will allow the City to lease the stadium to NSH NEXTCO LLC, which will operate the facility year-round. 

“When we started building our MLS team in Nashville, we talked a lot about the key ingredients that made Nashville a perfect soccer city: great energy, strong business community and a real civic pride,” Nashville SC CEO Ian Ayre said in a statement. “It’s quite obvious in spending time in Huntsville that the same raw ingredients exist here. We could not be more excited about bringing an MLS NEXT Pro team to Huntsville and the amazing stadium project.”

Nashville SC and the City of Huntsville plan to announce more information about the team’s identity, brand and schedule in the coming months.