I have a special place in my heart for Detroit, the sense of community pride that defines this region, and our history that shaped the world. Like many of you, I've grown frustrated watching our city's heritage, in particular its architectural legacy, deteriorate and disappear, knowing there was little or nothing I could do. That is one of the reasons I am so excited for Detroit City FC's next chapter.
In October 1936, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt came to Hamtramck for the dedication of a new stadium. That night, in front of thousands, he gave a speech about the importance of investing in public projects, even in the midst of the Great Depression. I believe his sentiments still ring true today:
. . . We have been thinking about some of the things that the country needs in addition to bare food and lodging. That is why a great stadium of this kind has been built. This stadium is one of the things that will last for many years and contribute toward the enjoyment and recreation, not only of us older people but of the younger generation as well.
Yes, I am thinking of a future America, where we may all have a little bit more of the better things of life than we have today, a little bit more in the way of money compensation for our work, a little bit more in the way of holidays—shorter hours and Saturdays off and Sundays off as well.
Some people in this country have called it "boondoggling" for us to build stadiums and parks and forests and to improve the recreational facilities of the Nation. My friends, if this stadium can be called boondoggling, then I am for boondoggling, and so are you. . . . <full speech>
Since that night nearly 80 years ago, Keyworth Stadium has hosted Presidents FDR and JFK; Abbott and Costello; decades of Hamtramck, DPS, and Catholic league football matches; High School graduations; religious services of all faiths; and countless community events.
But today Keyworth is in a state of disrepair, and without action, its future is in doubt.
Thanks to your support over the years, Detroit City FC (DCFC) has outgrown its first home and now needs a new venue to continue its celebrated rise. Wedged in to the densest and most diverse community in Michigan, Keyworth represents not only DCFC's future but also the possibility of creating the most exciting and accessible sporting atmosphere in the country.
DCFC has embarked on a campaign to breathe new life in to this historic structure and grow our club at the same time. And we are taking on the rehabilitation of this historic stadium though the largest community investment campaign in Michigan's history. We proudly believe this is a true public-private partnership that genuinely benefits the community and its investors.
We aren't billionaires angling for public money. We are not looking for Kickstarter donations. We are giving our supporters the unique opportunity to invest in historic preservation, a dense and diverse community, and a growing business that represents Detroit across the country with an immense amount of pride . . . with a meaningful financial return.
If you are a Michigan resident, take a moment to find out more about the campaign by visiting our investment page: http://michiganfunders.com/project/detroit-city-football-club/
(You have to register for the site to prove you are a Michigan resident. Under securities laws, the investment offering is available only to Michigan residents. This is all a very new and historic process, so if you have the slightest problem, please don't hesitate to contact firstname.lastname@example.org to help with registration.)
Thanks to your support, DCFC has made waves across the globe (The Guardian
, Howler Magazine
). And we can't take this next giant leap without this remarkable community’s continued help. Whether it is big or small, please consider making an investment. And if you're not in a place to invest, maybe you know someone else who is. Together we have the chance to save history, make history, and foster a new model of supporting the small businesses that contribute to our great community.
Sean Mann is the founder and co-owner of Detroit City FC.