Wichita, KS is being considered by the USL, with a league official confirming that a visit to the city is expected in the coming months.
USL is in the process of considering potential markets for USL D3, the third-division circuit that is slated to begin play in 2019. Wichita already features a solid National Premier Soccer League club in the form of FC Wichita, which plays its games at the Stryker Soccer Complex.
USL vice president Steven Short confirmed the league’s interest, and said that he expects that a visit to Wichita will take place by early November. Multiple factors, including a prospective facility as well as proximity to other clubs, will be considered, but some in Wichita believe that city can satisfy the league’s preferences when it comes to local ownership. More from The Wichita Eagle:
Short expects to talk with city officials, soccer leaders and business leaders. Tops on his list is meeting people who might want to own part or all of a team. USL D3 owners must have a net worth of $10 million (half of the requirement for its higher level league). He declined to reveal the entrance fee.
“We focus on local ownership, because we’ve seen such a tremendous movement in our league with owners who are local, rather than remote,” he said. “They’re ingrained in the community.”
FC Wichita owner Blake Shumaker said he believes Wichita offers potential owners with that kind of money.
“Certainly, Wichita has people capable of doing that,” he said. “It’s without a doubt doable. It may take opening up and having a little bit of a partnership.”
USL D3 is in the process of planning for its expected launch in 2019. Numerous cities have been reported as possible landing spots for USL D3, and league officials have paid visits to several cities, including one this week to Macon, GA.
Image of USL action courtesy Sacramento Republic FC.