Why Huntsville Is the Perfect Home for New MLS Next Pro Team

huntsville skyline

It’s a great time to be a Huntsville sports fan.

For years, local leaders have been working to transform Rocket City into a hotspot for sports tourism. And Huntsville may be well on its way. In 2023, the new Huntsville City Football Club will take the field for its inaugural season with the MLS NEXT Pro soccer league.

Here’s what you need to know about the team — and why it’s so perfect for Huntsville.

What to Expect From Huntsville City Football Club

MLS NEXT Pro launched in June 2021 in the United States and Canada as a new professional men’s soccer league. Affiliated with Major League Soccer, the minor league bridges the gap between its youth branch, MLS NEXT, and MLS.

The league hopes to usher in a new era for North American soccer, bringing in players, coaches and other sports-industry professionals from around the globe with a shared vision of creating a new generation of soccer fans.

The first games began in March 2022 with 21 teams, and seven more teams will join the ranks for the 2023 season, including the Huntsville City Football Club.

Huntsville’s team will compete as the minor league affiliate under parent MLS company Nashville Sports Club, which surprised many with its decision to house its MLS NEXT Pro team outside its home state. The team will play at Joe Davis Stadium, the former Huntsville Stars facility that will seat 6,000 once renovations are complete in May 2023.

Recently, executives unveiled the team logo, which takes inspiration from the city’s official seal and deep-rooted space industry. A shooting star orbits the club’s initials as a nod to Huntsville’s history as a space-industry hub. The checkered pattern bordering it pays respect to the checkerboard design on the Saturn I rocket, which NASA developed in Huntsville.

Why the MLS NEXT Pro League Landed in Huntsville

Huntsville has experienced explosive growth in recent years, with U.S. News & World Report naming it the single-best place to live in the United States in 2022-23.

The city has ample job opportunities, a low cost of living and a highly-educated population, all of which set the stage for professional sports to do well here.

Sports tourism is also quickly growing in Huntsville. According to, local sports were estimated to have had an economic impact in Huntsville of more than $32 million this year, driving an additional $2.4 million in taxes.

Huntsville is a long-time host of high-volume youth sporting events, which brings in much of its sports revenue. Including its cross-country course, which was the site of at least six events, including the Garmin RunningLane Cross Country Championships that brought 6,000 people to the course last year.

Meanwhile, the Alabama Recreation and Parks Association named Huntsville’s $22 million aquatics center was named “Facility of the Year” in 2018. The main pool area can comfortably fit 1,400 spectators, so the center has quickly become the go-to destination for regional swim meets.

And of course, Huntsville has also hosted the state high school soccer championships for years, bringing in the best young talent from around Alabama. The sport has become one of the fastest-growing sports in the Northern Alabama region, according to Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle.

In recent years, the city has begun balancing its role as host for youth championships with its desire to become a major player on the professional sports stage. And the city is certainly ready for its close-up thanks to its shiny new stadiums, eager fanbase and booming economy.

Huntsville City Football Club may be one of the first high-profile sports to come to the area, but it certainly won’t be the last.

The city has an undeniable energy and strong civic pride — two key ingredients Nashville SC CEO Ian Ayre cited as what drew him to Rocket City. Huntsville has already embraced the launch of the new soccer team with open arms, indicating a bright future for the club.

Come experience the Rocket City magic for yourself. Begin your transition to Huntsville with the best moving company in the area. Get started today by calling 256.795.3135 or requesting a free quote online.