BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The dream of bringing a professional soccer team to Birmingham has been achieved.
The Birmingham Hammers announced Thursday that they have joined the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) starting with the 2016 season. The NPSL is the fourth division of professional soccer in the United States behind Major League Soccer, the North American Soccer League, and the United Soccer League.
The Hammers played an exhibition season in 2015 against some teams from the NPSL, including Nashville FC.. The Hammers will be members of the Southeast Conference and compete against teams from Chattanooga, Knoxville, New Orleans, and Atlanta.
The Hammers will continue to play their games in 2016 at the Sicard Hollow Athletic Complex. Season ticket information will be available soon according to a release from the team sent to WIAT 42 News.
“It’s a great day for the Magic City,” team president and general manager Morgan Copes said.
Copes and John Killian had the idea for the Hammers back in January of 2013. In less than three years, that idea has turned into an actual soccer team in a professional league.
“There were several nights I couldn’t sleep or cried myself to sleep thinking what we were doing wasn’t going to work,” he said. “The city of Birmingham and it’s metro area are incredible. We cannot say thank you enough to all of those who have supported us.
“Now the city has something else it can be proud of and call it’s own.”
The NPSL was founded in 2002 and has more than 80 teams across the country in 11 conferences.
The first match for the Hammers as members of the NPSL will be in May 2016.
Copyright 2015 WIAT 42 News