FLINT, MI – The Michigan Bucks of USL League Two are moving to Flint and Genesee County. And now the team’s name is in the hands of its fans!
Will the club be re-named or will it remain as the Bucks? Fans will decide in a naming contest running through December 15. Fans can cast their naming suggestion by going to www.bucks2flint.com or by mailing their choice to: Bucks2Flint, 615 South Saginaw Street, Suite 8018, Flint, MI 48502.
The team is excited to have fans of all ages can participate by either selecting the existing Michigan Bucks name, logo and colors or choosing their own new ideas, including a new name, logo and colors to fit the team’s new home in Flint and Genesee County. The winner will receive four VIP season tickets with VIP parking passes to the inaugural season and a team autographed jersey... in addition to being recognized at the press conference where team’s name, logo and look will be unveiled.
“We encourage parents and families to join in, as well as helping children under the age of 18 complete the entry,” said team president, Costa Papista. “The team now belongs to Flint, Genesee County and all of mid-Michigan. We want to make sure all of our fans have a chance to be a part of this moment by participating in the naming contest. We expect the franchise to establish a long successful history of its own, right here in Flint and Genesee County.”
Long a staple of metro Detroit, the Bucks’ move is historic, as is Atwood Stadium, on the campus of Kettering University, where they will now play.
Vote today by going to www.bucks2flint.com. Write-in paper entries must include name, mailing address, day and evening phone numbers and email address (if available). Each entry must include the following:
New Team name and colors
Description of new crest/logo/shield concept
Reason for the new name, colors and logo idea
The contest runs through December 15. Limit one (1) entry per name.
official entry form
Parents and families are encouraged to join in as well to help those younger than 18 years of age participate in this exciting chance to be a part of soccer history in Flint and Genesee County. Mail in submissions are also acceptable at Flint Premier Soccer, LLC, 615 South Saginaw Street, Suite 8018, Flint, MI 48502 and must include name, address, city, state and zip code, day and evening phone number and email address. Limit one (1) online entry per name and/or verified email or mailing address.
For Immediate Release
FLINT – The Michigan Bucks soccer club, the most successful franchise in the history of the Premier Development League — now known as USL League Two — will relocate from Pontiac to Flint beginning with the 2019 soccer season under the leadership of Dan Duggan and Costa Papista.
Kettering University’s Atwood Stadium will serve as the team’s home field, allowing Bucks and USL League Two fans to enjoy elite men’s U-23 soccer at a historic venue. The stadium, which was built in 1929, seats approximately 10,000 fans compared to only 2,000 at the team’s former home, Ultimate Soccer Arenas in Pontiac.
In 2013, Kettering University assumed ownership of Atwood Stadium and made major renovations, including the installation of a new best-in-class field to support soccer, football and lacrosse. The result is a world-class facility that gives fans the ultimate viewing experience, and the players an unrivaled venue in which to compete.
“I am very excited about this move and partnership with Costa,” said team owner Dan Duggan. “We simply could not pass up this opportunity to move to Kettering University’s Atwood Stadium. Flint is a great sports town, and it is only about 35 miles north from Pontiac. This location allows our soccer club to grow its fan base, while continuing its relationship with our current fans in Oakland County. It also gives us the opportunity to expand our business and marketing footprint to encompass both Oakland County and Genesee County.”
Duggan has owned the Bucks since the league’s inception in 1995. Over the 23-year span, the Bucks have claimed the regular season title five times (2000, 2008, 2012, 2015 and 2016) and won the North American Championship three times (2006, 2014 and 2016). No other organization in the 72-team league has achieved such success, giving the Bucks the No. 1 ranking in both regular season and playoff competition. USL League Two is known as the premier “feeder” league to Major League Soccer (MLS), with 70% of MLS players taken from this North American league.
Costa Papista will join the Bucks as its operating partner and team president. Papista brings a history of sports franchise launches in mid-Michigan having presided over two successful OHL startups, the Saginaw Spirit and Flint Firebirds. “We want to create a great experience for our players, fans and sponsors of USL League Two soccer,” said Papista. “We were drawn to Kettering University’s Atwood Stadium because of the impressive renovations made by Kettering and its commitment to community engagement. We are excited to bring the most elite level of men’s pre-professional soccer to Flint.”
“Costa Papista’s substantial experience in successfully operating sports franchises and his commitment to promoting community vitality in Flint were instrumental in Kettering University’s decision to allow Atwood Stadium to serve as the team’s home field,” said Kettering University President Dr. Robert K. McMahan. “This relationship adds a significant family-friendly entertainment draw to Flint and has great potential to further build the economy of our community.”
According to Tim Herman, CEO, Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, Flint has always been a sports town that embraces the opportunity to support elite competition.
“On behalf of the Flint & Genesee business community, we congratulate and welcome the Michigan Bucks to the area. This is great news not only for downtown Flint, but also for the region as it will increase the vibrancy and economic activity during the league’s season. More sports bring more fun, more vitality and opportunities to compete. And that’s a good thing!”
To welcome the team to Flint and to give fans a chance to immediately become part of the Bucks’ storied history, the team will hold a contest to rename and rebrand the franchise. Stay tuned!
The storied Michigan Bucks franchise of USL League Two is moving to Flint! As the team prepares for its inaugural season at Kettering University’s historic Atwood Stadium, we invite you to join us by becoming an inaugural season ticket holder. USL League Two features the professional soccer stars of tomorrow and supplies the annual MLS SuperDraft with over 70% of its talent. The Bucks franchise has a rich history of success. The legacy shall continue as we prepare to operate a model franchise that Flint, Genesee County and all of mid-Michigan can be proud of...today and into the future. We have partnered with Ticketmaster.com to kick off our inaugural season ticket campaign for the 2019 USL League Two season at Atwood. We are currently offering fans two easy online season ticket packages to become a part of something special.
Package One is our VIP reserved season ticket package.
The VIP seats are in the only three reserved sections (1, 2 & 3) offered at Atwood Stadium and are located directly at midfield. They offer the best possible sightlines for soccer. A minimum of ten (10) home matches are guaranteed. Additional home matches, including playoff contests, will be included at no cost. We are offering this package for $150 dollars per seat. You may select your seat and purchase online today by clicking here. VIP season ticket package benefits include:
Choose your very own seat location at midfield
Choose your very own seat location at midfield
No box office lines
Extra matches and playoff matches will be included at no cost
Save 50% on your choice of VIP parking pass or GA season ticket holder parking pass
Exclusive access to the VIP hospitality tent at every match
A special VIP entrance at the southwest corner of the field
Save 10% on team merchandise, online and at the match day merchandise tent
Receive an inaugural VIP season ticket holder team scarf
First right to renew or upgrade your seating location for next season
Special discounts to participating team sponsor businesses
Major league style, professional tickets
Exclusive team meet & greet opportunity
Exclusive Q & A session with coaches and players
Package Two is our GA season ticket package.
GA (general admission) seating will account for the majority of seating at Atwood Stadium. A minimum of ten (10) home matches are guaranteed. This package costs $85 per person and currently may only be purchased online by clicking here. The GA season ticket package benefits are as follows:
Save 15% off of regular GA match day tickets
No box office lines
Save 50% on special GA season ticket holder parking pass
Save 10% on all team merchandise, online and at the match day merchandise tent
Special discounts to participating team sponsor businesses
Small business and corporate season ticket holders will find tremendous value when using their season tickets to reward employees or to recognize valued customers. USL League Two season tickets at Kettering University’s Atwood Stadium are an excellent investment for businesses of all sizes that wish to network with their community in a fun, family-friendly and energized outdoor environment.
MICHIGAN BUCKS HISTORY in USL League Two (formerly PDL)
From the team’s inception, the Michigan Bucks have been among the Premier Development League’s (PDL’s) top-performing teams, having never registered a losing season in its 23 years. The PDL was formed in 1994; the Bucks’ first season was in 1996, playing in Saginaw as the Mid-Michigan Bucks. Relocating to metropolitan Detroit in 2003 the team became the Michigan Bucks and continued on their successful path in Pontiac, Michigan.
Below is a summary of Bucks history – PDL regular and postseasons, U.S. Open Cup and USASA National Tournament play.
PDL Regular Season Play
Overall record from 1996-2018: 249-75-41 (most regular season wins in PDL history)
14 Great Lakes Division titles
7 Central Conference championships
5 PDL Regular Season championships (2000, 2008, 2012, 2015, 2016)
PDL Post Season Play
Overall record from 1996-2018: 29-17-3 (most postseason wins in PDL history)
Bucks qualified for playoffs in 20 of its 23 years
5 appearances in PDL North American Finals (including 7 appearances in Final Four)
3 PDL North American Championships (2006, 2014, 2016)
U.S. Open Cup (USOC)
Overall USOC record from 1996-2018: 15-12-3 (most USOC wins in PDL)
Competed in 14 USOC tournaments, which included 30 matches
Hosted 22 USOC matches (11-9-2 at home; 4-3-1 on the road)
Posted a 10-10-1 record against professional teams in USOC: most wins vs. professional teams
Posted 2-4-1 record vs. MLS teams: most wins vs. MLS teams.
Victories over MLS teams were in 2000 and 2012; the win in 2000 made the Bucks the first amateur team in history to defeat an MLS team. The win in 2012 made the Bucks the only amateur team in the 104 year history of the tournament to defeat two MLS teams.
Hank Steinbrecher USASA National Cup
This elite invitational tournament highlights the top pre-professional talent from around the country and hosts the annual champions of four major amateur soccer divisions in US soccer. The Bucks are the only two-time champions in tournament history.
Bucks in Hank Steinbrecher Cup
2015: record 1-1
2017: record 2-0; USASA National Champions
2018: record 2-0; USASA National Champions
Bucks in the Professional Ranks
As of January 2018, more than 40 former Bucks players were listed on rosters in MLS, USL or playing professionally in foreign countries. Ten former Bucks have played for their national team or Olympic teams over the years. Over 140 former Bucks players have gone on to play professional soccer over the past two decades.
A total of 76 former Bucks players have been drafted or signed by MLS teams since 1999. Additionally, the Bucks are the only soccer team in the world with at least one player drafted in every MLS SuperDraft since its inception in 1999.
PDL Coach of the Year Awards
Steve Burns 1997
Joe Malachino 2000
Gary Parsons 2011, 2012
Demir Muftari 2016
Executive of Year Awards
Jim Duggan 2000, 2004
Dan Duggan 2006, 2014
PDL Defender of the Year Award: Kevin Taylor, 2005; Stew Givens, 2011; Kevin Cope, 2012; Lalas Abubaker, 2016
PDL Golden Boot Award: Bonaventure Maruti, 2000; Dzenan Catic, 2014
League MVP: Dzenan Catic, 2014
PDL Goalkeeper of the year: Mitch Hildebrandt, 2011; Adam Grinwis, 2012
Playoff MVP: Adam Grinwis, 2014; Russell Cicerone, 2016
PDL Assist Leader: Paul Snape, 1999; Nate Jafta, 2006; Tom Catalano, 2012; Adam Najem, 2016
PDL Rookie of the Year: Adam Grinwis, 2012