It appears that Lansing Ignite FC will not return to the USL League One lineup in 2020, with a player and supporters telling the Lansing State Journal that the club will fold.
Lansing Ignite began play at the start of Division III USL League One’s inaugural season this spring, staging home matches at downtown Lansing’s Cooley Law School Stadium. The club is backed by owner Tom Dickson, who also owns Cooley Law School Stadium’s Minor League Baseball tenant, the Lansing Lugnuts (Low A; Midwest).
Speculation about the club’s future has mounted in recent days, following an Instagram Stories post from Ignite midfielder Marshall Hollingsworth that indicated the team would not return in 2020. Ignite president Nick Grueser said earlier this week that the club would not make any public updates regarding its future until after this weekend’s USL League One final, but Hollingsworth said that players learned Lansing would not field a club in 2020 during a team meeting Monday morning. A member of the club’s supporters’ group also reports being told by an unidentified Ignite official that the team will not return next season. More from the Lansing State Journal:
“Nick just broke the news to us right off the bat and let us know that, for reasons, the team isn’t going to continue next year,” Hollingsworth said. “That was kind of all he gave us. We even asked, ‘Why is this going on?’ There really wasn’t much response to it. It felt like there was more undisclosed information that didn’t seem like it really wanted to be shared with everyone. And that was it.”
Word of Lansing Ignite’s fate first came from Hollingsworth on social media Monday, with an Instagram Stories post, saying, “Hell of a last season. Wasn’t enough to save the club so hit the boys up for contracts because they’re all free agents and deserve it. Thanks to each of you.”
The club’s supporters’ group, the Assembly Line, was tagged in the post.
The Assembly Line reached out to the Ignite front office on Monday looking to confirm Hollingsworth’s social media post. Westen Shelton, the Assembly Line’s vice president, told the State Journal an Ignite official confirmed to the group the club would be folding.
Neither the club nor USL League One have issued an official announcement regarding the Ignite’s status beyond the 2019 season. The USL League One final is set for Saturday, when North Texas SC hosts Greenville Triumph SC.
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