Madison unveiled as 4th USL Division III founding member

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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- The United Soccer League welcomed Madison, Wisconsin as the league’s first Midwest-based club of the new professional third-division league Thursday at Breese Stevens Field.

Madison now becomes the fourth founding member in the league.

Big Top Soccer, led by Vern Stenman, Conor Caloia, Jim Kacmarcik and Steve Schmitt, make up the ownership group of what will be the only outdoor professional soccer team in Wisconsin, according to a release from the group.

“Wisconsin is the second largest state in the country by population without an outdoor pro soccer team. The chance to launch this team in Madison is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity,” the Big Top Soccer ownership group said in a statement.

A new 10-year use agreement between Big Top Events and the City of Madison was approved by the Madison Common Council on Tuesday. The agreement provides for an additional $1.3 million of improvements to the facility, in addition to a new concession and restroom building already scheduled for construction this fall.

“We’re confident this team will become a loved part of the Madison community, and we can’t wait to start working with the entire community to ensure we develop a team we can all be proud of," Big Top Soccer ownership group said.

Beginning play in 2019, USL Division III has announced South Georgia Tormenta FC, FC Tucson, a Greenville-based team and a Madison-based team as founding members and will have additional franchise announcements in the coming weeks and months. Official competition structure and brand launch announcements are also expected later this year.