We now have a date and name for the launch of the new Des Moines USL Championship team, as Pro Iowa is set to debut in a new stadium for the 2024 pro season.
It’s been a long journey for this effort, as you can see from the related stories at the end of this piece; big projects do take big time, and this effort has been hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic and the inevitable challenges in cleaning up a polluted site.
But we have debut time in sight, as the USL officially announced the launch of the Pro Iowa team for the 2024 season. Pro Iowa is actually a mix of the old and new; while the USL Championship team will be new in 2024, Pro Iowa majority owner Kyle Krause is the longest-tenured owner in the USL’s ecosystem, presiding over current USL League Two club Des Moines Menace since 1998. Additionally, in 2020 Krause became the owner of Parma Calcio 1913, currently competing in Italy’s Serie B, the second tier of Italian professional soccer.
“This announcement has been years in the making,” Krause said via press release. “We’re thrilled to bring a new professional soccer club here with USL. This is a great opportunity to add another enticing benefit to living in central Iowa. We are excited to showcase Des Moines on a national and international stage. We could not have done this without the foundation laid by Iowa’s soccer community. The support for and success of the Menace has been a key factor in creating the right environment to support a USL Championship club.”
Besides Des Moines Menace and Parma Calcio 1913, Krause’s holding company, Krause Group, has a diverse business portfolio that includes convenience retail in the form of Kum & Go L.C., wineries and hospitality, real estate and agriculture. The family-owned Kum & Go, launched by his father W.A. Krause more than 60 years ago, now has over 400 locations in 11 different states across the heartland, over 5,000 employees and generates $2.5 billion in revenue annually.
“It’s an exciting day for the USL Championship,” USL CEO Alec Papadakis said via press release. “Iowa has a rich soccer history, and Pro Iowa will bring a long-awaited national and international spotlight to Des Moines. Kyle Krause’s longtime commitment to the game, the community, and the USL are without equal. He is the very best person to bring professional soccer to Iowa, and the new Pro Iowa Stadium will be a crown jewel not just for the USL, but for soccer in the United States. Krause Group’s experience operating soccer clubs here and in Europe will help this new franchise become a source of great pride for the people of Des Moines and the state of Iowa.”
The 6,300-capacity new stadium will be the centerpiece of a 65-acre, $535-million development at the downtown Dico Superfund site, creating a new development with one million square feet of commercial space, multi-unit housing, community green space, and the new stadium, currently dubbed Pro Iowa Stadium. That’s a working name; next up is a contest to determine the new club’s permanent crest and brand.
RELATED STORIES: New Des Moines stadium effort boosted by county contribution; Downtown Des Moines stadium part of 65-acre, $535M development; New site for Des Moines stadium pitched; New Des Moines stadium delayed; Land Acquisition Moves Des Moines USL Stadium Forward; Des Moines USL Stadium Proposal Takes Step Forward; Des Moines USL Stadium Pitched as Anchor of Development; Potential Des Moines USL Championship Club Eyed for 2022 Launch