Detroit City FC pays off debt for Keyworth renovations two years ahead of schedule

The Detroit News

Detroit City FC is making final payments this week — two years ahead of schedule — on revenue sharing agreements to pay off renovations on its home field Keyworth Stadium, the club announced Monday.

The move marks another milestone for the eight-year-old organization, which grew from a Detroit neighborhood rec league to one of the driving forces on the independent professional soccer scene. 

Through the state's Michigan Invests Locally Exemption Act, DCFC raised $725,500 to renovate Keyworth Stadium.

DCFC, which is debuting in the U.S. Soccer's professional third-tier National Independent Soccer Association later this month, has been playing at the Hamtramck landmark stadium since 2016.

The club called 2,500-capacity Cass Tech home for four seasons before making the move to Keyworth Stadium, which seats 7,933, in 2016 where it has routinely drawn crowds of 4,000-5,000 while playing in the fourth-tier semi-professional National Premier Soccer League.

Through the state's Michigan Invests Locally Exemption Act, DCFC raised $725,500 to renovate the stadium, which opened in 1936. Structural improvements included painting and mending of bleachers, locker rooms, restrooms and lighting.

The campaign received overwhelming support, involving 499 state residents who contributed in investment tiers ranging from $250 to $50,000 over a three-month span.

Money was repaid at an internal rate of return of over 13 percent on an annual basis, the club said.

“The community investment campaign was a tremendous success thanks to our community and supporters,” DCFC co-owner and chief operations officer  Todd Kropp said in a written statement “Investors helped us breathe new life into Keyworth Stadium and establish a solid foundation on which we will continue building DCFC.

"We are pleased to be in a position to pay back the investments earlier than projected and to have delivered a solid rate of return to those that took a chance in supporting our project.”

DCFC is preparing for its season-opener Friday, Feb. 28, against the LA Force at Jesse Owens Stadium, Cal State-Los Angeles. Kickoff is 10 p.m. EST.

Le Rouge's home-opener is Saturday, March 21, against the Oakland Roots at Keyworth with a 3 p.m. kickoff. 

DCFC's is also fielding a women's team in United Women's Soccer Great Lakes Division, which begins play in May.