New MLS NEXT Pro soccer club coming to Bridgeport in 2025
Soccer fans will soon have a new team to root for.
MLS NEXT Pro is awarding the Connecticut Sports Group with its next independent expansion team.
It will be called the Connecticut United Football Club and will be based out of Bridgeport. The team will launch in 2025 and will be the only one of its kind in the northeast. They plan on building a new waterfront soccer stadium at the site of the Shoreline Star Greyhound Park, which has been vacant for years.
“There has never been a more important moment for the sport in this country,” said Charles Altcheck, president of MLS NEXT Pro. “The World Cup will be the largest sporting event in history. The eyes and attention of the world will be here.”
It's also a vision Andre Swanston, entrepreneur and founding partner of the Connecticut Sports Group, has had in the works for some time now – he said the idea came to him in 2019. News 12 Connecticut spoke with Swanston when he first publicly revealed his plan to bring a soccer stadium to Bridgeport.
Swanston believes this will enhance his promise toward creating more access to the sport for Connecticut soccer fans.
"Back then there was nobody that looked like me that owned a professional sports team,” said Swanston.
The plans have received unanimous approval from Bridgeport's Planning and Zoning Commission.
“Connecticut will now be a part of the story and your club, Connecticut United, will be the key link,” said Altcheck.
As Swanston gets one step closer to making it all a reality, he is also making sure he pulls through on his promise to the community.
"I really think that's what united is all about…trying to provide an opportunity to the kids in the state,” said Swanston.
That opportunity includes a free youth academy, something Swanston got emotional about when he spoke to News 12’s Angelica Toruno.
The stadium expects to bring over one thousand full-time jobs to the Park City.