Enthusiasts have offered more than 4,000 suggestions for the Milwaukee franchise coming in 2025 to the country’s second-highest pro soccer league.
Now the process of picking the best one gets serious.
Milwaukee Pro Soccer officials have trimmed the list to 64 and have begun to hold a public vote throughout the spring and summer, the organization announced Monday, with two matchups released daily. Those matchups will be voted on both online and during in-person activities.
From that voting, Milwaukee Pro Soccer will take as many as 10 names and concepts and use them to determine the team’s name and branding.
“We were impressed with how the community turned out to participate in the online name submission process, and we’re eager to get this additional round of input and feedback from supporters from across the state and the region,” Conor Caloia, head of operations for Milwaukee Pro Soccer, said in a new release. “We expect a massive voter turnout for this campaign, and ultimately that input will help inform the team’s identity.”
Milwaukee Pro Soccer will be part of the USL Championship, the second division of pro soccer in the United States behind Major League Soccer. The USL fields 27 clubs in markets such as New York, Los Angeles, Miami, San Diego, Detroit and Indianapolis.
The club will play its home matches at Iron District MKE, a stadium and entertainment district running from 6th to 10th streets along Michigan Street on the south edge of downtown.
In addition to an 8,000-seat stadium for the new team and the Marquette soccer and lacrosse teams, Kenosha-based Bear Development plans to build a 3,500-capacity indoor concert venue, 99 apartments and a hotel, as well as other amenities on the site. .
Jim Kacmarcik, who owns the USL League One team Forward Madison FC, has led the charge to bring professional outdoor soccer to Milwaukee for years. He is the second-generation owner of Kapco Metal Stamping and chairman and CEO of Kacmarcik Enterprises, as well as a minority owner of the Milwaukee Bucks.
Wisconsin has not had soccer at this level since 2002, when the Milwaukee Rampage folded. The Rampage played in the A-League, a precursor to the USL Championship.
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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Milwaukee USL franchise begins fan vote for new team name