The Major League Soccer expansion team in Charlotte, North Carolina, has been officially announced as Charlotte FC.
The logo and colors were also unveiled of the franchise run by Tepper Sports & Entertainment (TSE), which also owns the National Football League’s Carolina Panthers.
The crest pays homage to Charlotte’s “Queen City” nickname with a crown; it also includes the phrase “Minted 2022,” which references the city’s history of making coins for the US Mint and is in the shape of a circular coin.
The team’s colors – black, blue, silver, and white – are notably similar to those of the Panthers, with whom they will share the 75,523-capacity Bank of America Stadium.
TSE president Tom Glick told the Charlotte Observer: “We’re conscious of the environment at Bank of America Stadium and the blue seats. So there’s some real efficiencies and synergies in having Charlotte Football Club and the Panthers share a similar palette.”
Glick said the generic team moniker, which does not include a nickname, was made in consultation with thousands of soccer and sports fans around Charlotte and the Carolinas, with Charlotte FC becoming “a clear leader in the clubhouse.”
Other possible names included Carolina Gliders FC, Charlotte Athletic FC, Charlotte Crown FC and Charlotte Town FC.
“By far, the number one, the favorite name, has been Charlotte Football Club,” Glick said. “Amongst the entire sample, as well as especially amongst soccer fans within that group.”
On entering MLS, Charlotte FC will be the eighth team in the league whose name will be the city name plus a FC or SC prefix or suffix. It will join: FC Cincinnati, Nashville SC, New York City FC, Toronto FC, FC Dallas, Los Angeles FC, and Austin FC.
Earlier this week, MLS announced that Charlotte FC’s arrival in the league would be put back from 2021 to 2022 due to the financial disruption caused by the global Covid-19 pandemic.
Having paid a National Football League record $2.275bn for the Panthers in 2018, hedge fund billionaire David Tepper reportedly paid a MLS-record $325m to acquire the franchise rights to Charlotte FC.
Financial-services company Ally Financial will become the primary sponsor of the team’s jersey, which is due to be unveiled next year.
Already more than 25,000 season-ticket deposits have been placed, according to Glick. The team is aiming to fill the lower bowl of the Bank of America Stadium, which seats around 37,500 fans.
The name, logo, and colors of the MLS St. Louis expansion team will be announced on August 13. The city already has a team in the United Soccer League Championship called Saint Louis FC.