USF and Fort Wayne Football Club announce partnership

January 10, 2023

Pictured: FWFC owner DaMarcus Beasley, USF President Rev. Dr. Eric Albert Zimmer, FWFC Coach Mike Avery

FORT WAYNE, Ind.—The University of Saint Francis and the Fort Wayne Football Club today announced a partnership to bring the Fort Wayne FC professional soccer team to Bishop D’Arcy Stadium as its home.

The partnership developed after conversations between USF President Rev. Dr. Eric Albert Zimmer and Fort Wayne FC Principal Owner Mark Music led the leaders to forge an agreement benefitting both parties.

USF and Fort Wayne FC signed a two-year agreement (with an option for another year) for the team to play its home games on Kevin Donley Field at Bishop D’Arcy Stadium. In addition, Music will donate a state-of-the-art video scoreboard to upgrade the current USF scoreboard.

The 2023 Fort Wayne FC season begins in May.

“We are excited about partnering with the Fort Wayne Football Club and working together to bring people to campus to experience this high-quality soccer. Mark Music, DaMarcus Beasley and the entire Fort Wayne Football Club run a top-tier franchise that the community embraces with enthusiasm. We thank the Fort Wayne Football Club for their partnership and look forward to many memorable games at Bishop D’Arcy Stadium,” Fr. Zimmer said.

“We’re thrilled to partner with the University of Saint Francis as we continue to bring high-level professional soccer to our community,” Music said. “Our club and USF share an ambitious vision of growth and making a positive impact on the city of Fort Wayne, and we can’t wait to get our third season started come May.”

USF installed a new turf at Bishop D’Arcy Stadium prior to the fall football season and upcoming upgrades include the opening of deluxe end zone suites. The proximity to downtown and the ample parking around the stadium are among other benefits that played a role in igniting the USF-Fort Wayne FC partnership.

Founded in 2019, Fort Wayne FC is a member of the United Soccer League (USL), North America’s largest professional soccer organization that oversees the USL Championship, USL League One, USL League Two, USL W, and USL Academy. The USL has proven to be an important steppingstone for top professionals now playing around the world and provides an established path to professional soccer in the North American soccer landscape (more than 70% of all MLS draftees since 2010 have competed in the USL League Two) and beyond.

For more information on Fort Wayne FC, contact Director of Club Operations Laurie Perolio-Bullinger at [email protected].

Founded in 1890 in the Catholic Franciscan tradition, the University of Saint Francis offers more than 60 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs through the College of Health Sciences and the College of Arts, Sciences and Business. In addition to its traditional programs, USF designs focused curricula for working adults in Fort Wayne, Crown Point and online. USF Downtown houses the music technology program while offering enhanced internship and networking opportunities for students. The University of Saint Francis, recognized as an NAIA Five-Star Champion of Character institution, has 18 athletic programs boasting two individual and four team NAIA national championships. Approximately 2,200 students from a broad geographic region attend USF.