Stockade FC in 2023 – Seven Years of Lessons Learned in Lower Level Soccer

Dennis Crowley
Published in
41 min readJan 26, 2023

<Prologue: Seven years ago we decided to build a soccer team from scratch and write about the process of doing so. The club is called Kingston Stockade FC and is located in the Hudson Valley area of NY (2 hours north of NYC). We are an adult men’s amateur soccer team that competes in the 4th Division of the US Soccer pyramid in a ~100 team national league called the NPSL. I’ve written 6 blog posts about the journey so far, offering full transparency into our budget, revenue, operating costs, and all the successes and headaches along the way. We see ourselves as part of a growing band of innovators and entrepreneurs in American soccer, and champions of the idea of “Open Source Soccer’’. Here’s the latest chapter of our club’s story…>

📸 This (and countless other photos!) courtesy of our amazing volunteer photog, Terri McAleer:

Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve written one of these posts! My last Stockade FC blog post was from May 2018 just before we were about to play in our first US Open Cup match and kick-off our 3rd season. Gosh, that feels like a lifetime ago!

This spring Stockade will kick off its 7th season / 8th year in the NPSL (our 2020 season was cancelled due to COVID). A lot has changed, but a lot has stayed the same in the 3 seasons since my last blog post, so I wanted to write another one to catch people up on what we’ve been up to. Plus, I now have SIX SEASONS worth of data which gives a unique look at Stockade’s growth and evolution over time. If anything has become clear, it’s how meaningful and valuable these posts have been as a blueprint for folks who have either made the leap to start their own clubs or those who aspire to start a club someday. There was a period in 2019–2020 where I was probably doing a phone call a week with a random soccer entrepreneur jonesing for 20% more advice than what was offered in these posts. I’m very proud of the work we’ve done to make club ownership and operation — and this idea of “soccer entrepreneurship” in general — more transparent and accessible, so let’s keep it going!

My goal this year is to write two blog posts — this pre-season post and another post-season wrap-up. This will be an especially interesting season as we have one giant new variable to work with — our home stadium in Kingston, NY (Dietz Stadium) is closed for renovation this year, so we’re moving the club 40 minutes south to Poughkeepsie, NY for the 2023 season. I’ll write more on this below, but this will be the biggest single change our club has ever experienced — it’ll affect everything from Season Ticket sales to game day attendance to sponsor composition, so it’ll be interesting to track how it all unfolds.

Tenney Stadium @ Marist College in Poughkeepsie is our new (temporary) home for the 2023 season. The stadium is a 40 minute drive south of Kingston.

For now, let’s start off w/ some top-level stats…

2022 Operating Costs / Revenue

Six seasons in and I feel like we’re a well-oiled machine, but we’re definitely NOT on auto-pilot.

The club still takes an incredible amount of time and energy and effort to run, and I’m *super thankful* for the amazing team of volunteers that make it all come together game-after-game, season-after-season.

I want to note that the numbers below include both our Men’s First Team (NPSL) and our new U23 team (which plays in a league called EDP). This U23 team (“Under 23”) is part of our new “Stockade Futures” development program which I’ll also talk about in more detail below. (Luckily, ~80% of the work/costs put into the NPSL team can be leveraged for the U23 team)

In 2022, it cost approx $115,000 to operate the two clubs, and we did so on approx $100,000 of revenue.

In previous years, I meticulously broke down our costs and revenue merch-item-by-merch-item and game-day-by-game-day (see: 2016, 2017), but I’ve learned that most numbers are in the same ballpark season-after-season so I’m going to skip the micro-view and break things down a little more broadly this year:

Operating Costs
Training Fields 25%
Player Kits / Warmups 25%
Coaching / Trainer Staff 18%
Merchandise 10%
Home Fields 7%
League Fees 7%
Travel (bus charter) 4% <-- 2 of 5 teams are within 1 hr drive
Game Ops/Mktg/Misc 4%
Player Salaries 0% <-- amateur team, no salaries (NCAA rules)
Operations Staff 0% <-- entirely powered by vounteers!
Total Expenses ~$115,000

Sponsors 40%
Merch 35% (only 8% of this is online sales)
Tickets 25% (55% of this is season tickets)
Total Revenue ~$100,000

You’ll notice that the club did not break-even financially this year — something I was obsessed with during our first few seasons (and blog posts). The #1 reason for this is simply that, um, I’m no longer obsessed with breaking even. Why?

Well, we’ve proven that we can get very close to breakeven (5% away in 2017), but the bigger reason is that it’s a lot less work for me personally to NOT break even than to obsess over every penny, constantly grinding out new merch, and keeping the online store stocked. I’m not lazy, I’ve just gotten distracted with life! If there’s any big change to my story as “Chairman of Stockade FC” it’s that our two-kids-under-2yo from the 2018 season are now 6yo and 5yo big kids, and my wife and I had another baby girl last year (who’s now 18 months!) These days kids + family take up a big chunk of my time… time that used to be spent obsessing over Stockade financials, taking inventory of the merchandise in my garage, making sure the online store was meticulously stocked. In short, while the club still takes about the same amount of time to operate, I have less of my time to give to the club. If I was doing an “A+” job in our first two seasons, these days I’ll give myself a solid “B”. (The fix? Delegating more! Or maybe even hiring a full-time GM? Maybe someday! Especially as we start to expand beyond just being just an Men’s Adult Team… more on this below).

Side note: I don’t think me being “Distracted with life” makes the on-the-field product or game day experience any worse… it just makes the “how far are we from breakeven” number a little bigger (aka: the amount I pay out of pocket to cover club expenses that exceed revenue). I’m fine with that tradeoff for now.

Let’s take a second to look at Operating Cost vs. Revenue over time — with six seasons under our belt, there’s actually a lot of storytelling in just this one chart:

(7 years and 6 seasons of data! So psyched to be able to share all this!)

A few takeaways / notes from this chart:

  • Our first year (2016) was a monster year in terms of expenses because *everything* was new. If you go back to the 2016 financial breakdown, we spent close to $50k (30%) on just merchandise (and carried a lot of that excess inventory, but not the cost, into 2017 and 2018).
  • We only missed breakeven in 2017 by ~$5000 or about 5%. This gave us confidence that it can be done… but remember, our 2017 season had the advantage of leveraging all the stuff we bought in 2016 (gear, merch, all the office supplies, etc needed to make game day run).
  • While this chart is based on my old blog posts and numbers I have handy for 2018–2019, I am almost certain we got much closer to breakeven in 2018 than this chart suggests (I believe we were closer to 5% away vs. the 13% shown here). I think my math for 2018 is off somewhere deep in the belly of 100 Google Spreadsheets. (As I didn’t write re-cap posts in 2018 and 2019 my accounting/memory is a bit fuzzier).
  • As for 2019, this was my “laziest” season as I was *totally underwater* with 2 toddlers (IYKYK). This means I didn’t hype Season Ticket sale as much as I should have, I wasn’t on top of my game with new merch and the online store as much as I should have been.
  • While the 2020 season was canceled due to COVID, we did sell ~140 Season Tickets before the world shut down. Hence the tiny bit of revenue you see for 2020 on minimal expenses (an early spring t-shirt order + cost to make our Season Tickets). Btw, we gave the folks who did buy 2020 Season Tix the option to roll then over to 2022 tix and about 70% of folks took us up on the offer (a surprising amount of people said “just keep the money, I’ll buy new tix near year!”, so thanks for that!)
  • Our 2021 season was capped due to COVID restrictions at our stadium (aka: 200 fans max for home opener… more on this below), which tanked a bunch of the numbers. With the attendance restrictions, we didn’t even try to sell 2021 Season Tickets.

As I said, I have confidence that standalone clubs like ours (aka: no revenue from youth org) can operate at breakeven (or just shy of breakeven… and maybe even a bit better than breakeven), but it definitely requires more discipline and budgeting and rigor that I have right now (especially with three little kids).

Of course, there’s big other variables that can really swing the expense and revenue numbers in or out of your favor:

  • New Jerseys. Decking the club out in new kits (jerseys, shorts, socks, warmups) is expensive. We’ve changed jersey designs a few times in our six seasons and every time time we do so it costs the club a big chunk of change. The seasons when we’ve been closest to financially break-even have been the ones where we’ve re-used jerseys from the previous season. And yes, in 2022 we treated ourselves to new jerseys (new design, new manufacturer), and thus treated ourselves to a big expense line item. (FWIW, in 2021 we re-used our “topology” kits. We got 3 seasons out of those jerseys… that’s how you save money, people!)
Jersey release promo for our 2022 kits by Capelli. Jersey design by our buddy JP Hamilton!
  • Merchandise SKUs. File this under “good problem to have”, but when you have a lot of fans, they want to buy a lot of merch… and they want new stuff every season. I can’t tell you how many of our fans have bought every piece of merch we offer, and are just jonesing for *something, anything* new. But making new merch is a lot of work, and storing and transporting it is a headache (loyal readers may remember that my garage doubles as Stockade FC World HQ). More SKUs = more revenue, but more SKUs = more work. (The fix? I gotta delegate / hire someone to help me!) My friends at Detroit City FC used to joke “we’re a t-shirt company 9 months of the year” which is 100% true at this level. If I’m being honest, I am doing a lousy job running our t-shirt company.
  • Weather. When the weather cooperates during home games, we bring in more fans (and therefore more ticket and merch revenue). This is pretty straightforward, but with around 5 home games per season, even just 1 or 2 rainy home games can really tank the numbers.
  • Travel. We play in the “North Atlantic” conference, maybe the most densely packed part of the country when it comes to lower level soccer clubs. Of the 5 teams in our conference, 2 of them are within a 1 hour drive. Our furthest bus trip is usually Boston (4-5 hours). In the six seasons we’ve played, we’ve had ONE overnight trip (2016, and it cost us a fortune!). My buddies who run teams in the midwest have it rough — 7 to 10 hour bus rides, overnights with hotels for most games. It’s much easier (and cheaper) for us here in the North East (or any place where you can get some density of clubs to work with).
  • Playoffs. When we make the playoffs, we have a chance to add an extra home game (or two!) to our schedule. And in a season with only five regular season home games, adding just one extra home playoff game lengthens our season by 20% (!!). Sadly we did not make the playoffs in 2022 (and in 2021 both of our playoff games — Conf Semi @ Albany and Conf Finals @ Hartford — were on the road and we saw no financial benefit from that… if anything it costs us in transport costs + additional field rentals). In our six seasons, we’ve been lucky enough to play in four playoff games, but only ONE of them has been at home (2017).

Note: Our club averages about $8000 *per game* in game day ticket and merchandise revenue (aka: about 40% of our total revenue comes from what happens on game days), so every home game we can host is meaningful. One of the things you’ll hear often in lower level soccer is “if we only had a few more home games!” If we ever got to the point where we could host TWO home playoff games in one season, I’m sure we’d see record attendance (and revenue) numbers.

Speaking of “if we only had one more game”, here’s how attendance “momentum” over a typical season looks like (I removed the one season, 2016, where we had an 8th regular season game as it seemed irrelevant). I feel we see this same “attendance story” play out every season… club starts out slow, stalls in the middle, and then picks up steam at the end. And by the time you’ve played your last game, you’re running into people around town who say “Ugh the season’s already over? I didn’t even get to come to a game!”

So how do you get more games? (And more importantly, why don’t *we* have more games?)

  • Schedule Friendlies? One way to fix this is to extend the season in the beginning — scheduling friendlies (scrimmages) with teams outside our league in, say, mid/late April. But this is tricky since many of the players on our roster are college athletes, and they are not available to the club until early May (when school is out and the regular season starts). We run into this same problem at the tail end of the season — once you’ve blocked off the calendar dates needed for a potential postseason run, many of our college players need to report back to their school’s athletic program (early August), making late season friendly matches just as problematic. Mid-season friendlies have been off-the-table as we want to rest the squad as much as possible, keeping them healthy and competitive for a playoff run.
  • Switch from a “Short Season League” to a “Full Season League”? The league we play in (NPSL) is a short-season amateur league. This works for us because (a) we share our stadium with the local high school, who get first dibs on dates for Spring / Fall sports, which makes scheduling games in March/April and Sept/Oct challenging. We also rely on (amateur) college players to field a competitive squad. Per NCAA rules, these players are not available to us in March/April and Sept/Oct. So, switching from “Short Season” to “Full Season” is more than just “switching leagues” (to say, NISA Nation or a regional league like EPSL) — it’s switching the club’s biz model to cover the cost of dictating your stadium’s schedule as well as covering the cost of recruiting, compensating, and insuring post-college athletes who can be available to train and play 7–8 months out of the year.

2022 Expenses

Before we start this breakdown, I wanted to reiterate that we’re now operating *two clubs* under these expense line items — our Men’s First Team (~850 fans/game, ticketed attendance) and our U23 Team (~100 fans/game, free admission). That said, while I am counting both clubs in our expenses, I’m ONLY counting our First Team (NPSL) numbers in terms of attendance, ticket sales and merchandise sales. (Said another way: We don’t sell tickets to U23 matches. We don’t sell merch at U23 matches. We loosely track attendance at U23 matches.)

Training Fields

Training fields continue to be our biggest Achilles Heel. It’s just so expensive to rent fields — and the alternative (building our own training facility) is even more expensive. This is the #1 thing holding us back from offering more Stockade FC “products” — more development programs, youth camps & clinics, a women’s team, etc.

Training Field Costs (we are currently renting a high school field w/ lights)
32 dates (April, May, June, July)
x 2 hours/night = $22,400 total ($700 night / $350 hour)
^^ (just for our NPSL team too!)

Estimated Cost to Build a Training Facility
Cost to turf a single field = $1M
Cost to build a full-field dome = $8-$10M
(Um, anyone want to help with this? Email me! dens/at/stockadefc/dotcom!)

I’ve written in the past that owners of clubs often come with a “superpower” — maybe that person already runs a youth program, or maybe they themselves are a brilliant coach, or maybe they own a company that can be a jersey sponsor, or a transportation provider, or own/operate their own training facility, etc. My superpower is… um, being good at the internet? (Ha!) It makes me a good storyteller and brand builder (hey, you’re reading this blog post, aren’t you!) but sometimes I wish I could trade-in that superpower and magically have a two-field training facility in Kingston where we could start building our “Stockade Futures” program. (Either that or I just bite the bullet and raise some money / create a biz plan for creating such a facility… someday! I keep coming back to this, but it’s all about the *time* required to do all these things.)

Player Kits / Warmups

We switched jersey manufacturers back in 2022 (from Inaria to Capelli, a local NY / NJ company) and, as mentioned above, whenever you decide to print a bunch of new jerseys for players (and fans) you incur the cost of doing so.

One big change we’ve made during this iteration of jersey designs (v3) — and I can’t believe it took us five season to learn this trick — is to print the jersey design and THEN print the sponsor on top of the jersey design. (In the past, we were treating our sponsors as *part of* the design, instead of something that gets *added to* the design ). This is pretty simple (and obvious in hindsight), but it gives us much greater flexibility in case we want to use the same jersey design for multiple years, but need to swap sponsors out from season to season (or club to club… as we do with our U23 team)

Quick shoutout to our amazing roster of jersey sponsors — we would not be able to operate the club without your support, so thank you!

2022 NPSL Jerseys Sponsors: Community Playthings (front), Cabinet Designers (back), Radio Woodstock (sleeve)

2022 EDL / U23 Jersey Sponsor: Colonial Subaru of Kingston (front)

2022 Revenue

This was our biggest season ever in terms of revenue. Sponsorship revenue was up (thanks to slightly raised prices, more cash-deals than barter-deals, and the addition of a U23 jersey sponsor). Tickets sales were up (we had our best game day attendance AND Season Ticket sales ever). Merch revenue was up (thanks to great attendance… and despite the fact our that online store had a lousy year due to being understocked — my fault!)

(And just to re-state the obvious, revenue was up, but so were expenses — especially with adding the U23 team, which added to coaching + training/game day field expenses).


Sponsors accounted for 40% of our revenue this season — a mix of jersey sponsorships (80%) and sideline banners (20%). As mentioned above, we raised prices of our jersey sponsorships to something we felt was more market-rate and added the sponsorship of the U23 team (which is what really helped boost these numbers).

If anything here could use improvement, it’s our sideline banner strategy (20% of total sponsorship revenue). We have 10 sideline banners total — 3 reserved for sponsors, 1 reserved for us (Stockade logo) which means 6 are for sale (@ $2500 each), but last season I only sold 3 of 6 (50%) with the other 3 going to barter deals. The barter deals are fine, but I’m starting to think maybe I should up our inventory from 6 sellable banners to 10 sellable banners. Sideline banners are easy(ish) to sell and they’re a great way to get local businesses involved. (I should state that it costs me around $300 to print a double-sided sideline banner — they’re velcro ads that stick onto a heavy foam A-Frame)

Pic is from a few season ago, but these are the A-Frame sideline banners we sell (we have 10 of them total)

IMHO, selling sponsorships is the hardest part of the gig (and the part that gives me the most anxiety season-over-season). This is mostly because we are still selling sponsorships season-by-season and team-by-team, as opposed to say “3-year deal for front of jersey” or “3 year deal to sponsor all Stockade teams + youth camp/clinics/programming in offseason”.

*THIS* is the future we need to move towards, but it requires a bigger and more well articulated vision about “Club as Year-Round Community” than the “We Have an NPSL Team” story we’re currently telling today (and it requires us finding a bigger checkbook to match the bigger vision). Right now I treat Stockade as a “5 months on, 7 months off” type of gig, but we really need to figure out how to treat it more like a “year-round, always-on” type gig to grow into the club we want to be.

I think about this a LOT (and wrote more on this “bigger vision” idea below)… just because I have a big vision for Stockade in my head, doesn’t mean that vision is out there in the wild, resonating with fans, the community, and local businesses in the Hudson Valley that may want to sponsor that vision. (BTW, worth mentioning that part of me writing these blog posts is to give *myself* the clarity I need to move forward with these plans. “Writing is thinking” as one of my buddies used to say.)


Merch accounted for 35% of our revenue this year, which may look low in comparison to our sponsorship and tickets percentages, but 2022 was actually our 2nd highest merch revenue ever (second only to our 1st season, when *everything* was new).

Now this is a hypothesis, but I think we sold a lot of merch this year because (a) we had new jerseys to sell and fans love new jerseys (um, we entirely sold out of them) and (b) we had a lot of new fans (people new to the area post-pandemic?) who were at their first Stockade game and buying their first Stockade tee or hat. But at the same time we *didn’t* sell as much as we could have because (1) I didn’t have a lot of new SKUs to offer, (2) our new jerseys sold out so quickly that they even never made it online, (3) our online store was poorly-stocked / under-stocked with Stockade FC staples like tees and hats.

There you have it… proof that I did a shit job w/ our online store in 2022 (3 little kids). But just ‘wait till I can put them to work tracking inventory and drop shipping! :)

Less than 10% of our merchandise sales this year came from our online store (see chart below), which is embarassingly low. To restate it: “I’m doing a shitty job running the Stockade t-shirt company.”

But hold on, this chart below is actually my favorite chart in this whole blog post as it gives insight into (what I think is) the right ratio for “game day sales vs. online sales”. See that 50/50 split in 2018 and 2019? I think that’s the sweet spot, so that’s what we’re going to shoot for in 2023.

Said another way: 50% of merch sales should come from the 5 to 8 days of the year you host home games, while the other 50% of merch sales should come from the other ~360 days in the year when you’re NOT hosting home games. (I’d be interested to hear how other clubs view this 50/50 split)

This is my favorite chart in this whole blog post (er, except for that “8% in 2022” part… again, me doing a crap job running the online store). 2020 and 2021 are weird COVID years, so don’t read too much into them.

Back to this idea of “not having a lot of new SKUs to offer” — I’ve been in the habit of adding 1 or 2 new SKUs per season… say, a new hat and scarf design in 2021 or some kids’ hoodies in 2022, but I’m starting to understand that this is simply not enough, and the club should offering fans more.

During our COVID-canceled season we broke from our tradition of “International Tees” for this one. All proceeds went to local food pantries.

I would say the #1 and #2 pieces of “merchandise” feedback we get from people are “more items in more colors! (tank tops, baseball tees, t-shirts with something besides the Stockade crest, etc). I’ve been very protective of the Stockade FC brand (and color palette) — black, grays, white, some orange… and have been very hesitant to expand the color palette to, say, Dutch Blue (oh la la!) or beyond. I could probably use some help from some forward-thinking merch designers to help me get around my stubbornness.

Fun Side Story: In 2019 we splurged and bought a heat-press machine. I had this vision of local merchants offering iron-on patches to kids for free, and then people coming to games to decorate their Stockade FC jerseys with all these crazy interesting local patches (think: 80s denim jacket w/ patches from your favorite bands!) Um, that didn’t happen. Iron-on are patches are expensive to make! And who’s gonna pay $5 for a patch from your favorite indie taco shop or bookstore (er, I would… but that’s not the point). What did end up happening is that the awesome volunteers running the merch table were also breaking their backs on the heat-press (with the occasional typo in a last name or a slightly crooked letter on a brand new $60 jerseys. OMG, I can’t help but think about how crazy this was in hindsight… I’m so sorry Vanessa!) Anyway back to the drawing board for ideas on how to bring this back. Do they make heat-press robots yet?

Volunteers are the heart and soul of any Stockade FC game day. Without their help — running everything from tickets, gate, live stream, merch table, HEAT PRESS, customer service, etc this club would not exist. THANK YOU!

Side note: I’ve been using my own data (from these blog posts) to predict how many t-shirts and hats to order (thanks, Dennis-from-2017!) but I can *never* get the number of jerseys right. Despite my math and data, I have consistently underestimated the number of jerseys we can sell the first year of offering a new jersey design. Take that bit of insight for whatever it’s worth.


There’s “attendance and there’s “ticket sales”… and they’re definitely not the same thing. (FWIW, it drives me crazy when teams count the “# of tickets sold” as “attendance” instead of counting “# of butts in seats”. Stockade ONLY counts “butts in seats” when we talk about attendance.)

Since we’re still on the topic of “revenue”, let’s focus on ticket sales. Ticket sales accounted for 25% of all revenue — with 55% of this being from Season Tickets (bought between Dec and May) vs. 45% Single Game Tickets (bought <7 days before the game via Eventbrite).

We sold more Season Tickets this year than any other year (377 total… and NOT counting the 2020 Season Tix that were rolled into 2022 Season Tix) …. and almost 50% of these were sold before Christmas (a full 5 months before kickoff!) That’s a HUGE number (and a daunting one when I think about our upcoming 2023 Season Ticket sales — which we’re just starting to sell in late January, and for games at a new stadium that’s 40 mins away.)

2020 = Season Canceled (We stopped selling Season Tix in mid-March and 2020 Season Tix were rolled-over into 2022 Season Tickets ). // 2021 = With COVID restrictions at stadium we didn’t even try to sell Season Tix.

Ticket prices are approx the same as they’ve always been:

          Single Game Ticket     Season Ticket
Adults: $10 Adults $40 ($8/game)
Kids: $5 Kids: $25 ($5/game)

In the past we used to do $8 Adults and $5 for kids (and/or “$2 if wearing anything soccer related”), which I LOVED as we had a “family of four for under $20” vibe going on, but after the 2020 season was canceled due to COVID we switched to 100% digital ticket which need to be bought online and in-advance. (This eliminated our ability to do the “$2 at the gate if wearing anything soccer related” style dynamic pricing.)

Another reason for the switch to digital tickets: When the 2021 season came back, it came back with a “max attendance of 200 at outdoor stadiums” (a cap set by Ulster County to ensure social distancing). We needed digital ticketing at this point to control crowds and ensure entry.

Because of the attendance caps, we didn’t even bother to sell Season Tickets in 2021 (which was a big hit to 2021 revenue, btw) and instead we ended up doing “200 tickets will go on sale Sunday at 12p sharp” style drops. It was amazing and humbling to see how quickly these tickets sold out — for example, for our 2021 home opener vs. Albany, tickets sold out in literally less than two minutes. This almost brought me to tears (of joy!) after missing 2020 and dealing with all the pre-season uncertainty in 2021 (much love to you, Stockade fans!)

Our first home game post COVID was capped at 200 people… and so we let exaclty 200 people in.

Three longer-term things that came the switch from physical to digital tickets:

  • We went from “90% tickets bought at gate / 10% bought online” in 2019 to “100% of tickets bought online” in 2021 … a huge shift in consumer behavior.
  • Because buying tickets online requires an email address, our email list grew 3x in the last two years, which leads to greater awareness of anything we publish in our club email newsletter (and a greater draw for sponsors too).
  • Getting rid of physical tickets means we were able to close down our dedicated game day Box Office (er, a little shack near the entrance of our stadium) – which means no more long lines of people queuing up to buy tickets with cash/credit (and thus fewer game day headaches for volunteers running the box office).

BTW, in 2022 and 2023 fans can/will STILL buy tickets at the gate (using cash or credit, powered by our Square POS and a cashbox) –– no matter what you do to promote digital tickets, there will always be a handful of that refuse to buy tickets online / don’t know how to buy tickets online,. These people will still show expecting to be able to buy tix with cash/credit at the gate, and it’s much better to accommodate them than turn them away IMHO.

That said, in 2022 more than 90% of tickets were purchased online and in-advance. Digital tickets seem to offer a much better experience for fans and eliminate a lot of logistical overhead for our volunteer staff (we went from 3-4 lines of people wanting to pay with cash/credit, down to 1 line of people who wanting to pay with cash/credit).

Also worth mentioning that our “Donate a Ticket” program is still going strong (thank you Don Steele!). Every season we have a bunch of folks who purchase Season Tickets solely so they can be donated to local youth organizations in Kingston and the surrounding areas. Over the past few years we’ve given away ~100 free Youth Season Tickets (per season!) to the local YMCA, Boys & Girls Club, and local community centers (People’s Place, Family of Woodstock, Hodge Center, CCE). I love this (and love seeing other clubs follow our lead — thx again Don!)

ps: You can purchase a “Donate a Ticket” here! Just choose “Donate” (instead of “Adult” or “Youth”) at checkout)

From Vermont Green FC. Nice work! (I love this club, btw)

Btw, Season Ticket sales are a very meaningful way to support the club, so if you like what we’re doing (whether you’re a die-hand Stockade fan or have never been to Kingston), please consider buying or gifting a Season Ticket!


Okay, now we can talk “attendance”. We had our biggest season ever in terms of attendance too — aka: more “butts in seats” than we’ve ever had. We also started tracking the number of folks coming thru the gate with Single Game Tickets vs Season Tickets (um, we started using two attendance clickers instead of just one) and here’s what we found:

  • While 55% of ticket revenue is from Season Tickets and 45% of ticket revenue is from Game Day Tickets….
  • … 73% of attendance is from Game Day Tickets and 27% of attendance is from Season Tickets

I’m not 100% sure what to make from this, except for the fact that even though we sold a TON of Season Tickets a whopping ⅔ of those Season Tickets are at any given game. That feels like an impressive number (aka: super loyal Season Ticket holders).

Looking at 2021, attendance was down due to COVID restrictions / attendance caps on outdoor stadiums (though the cap only lasted for 3 of our 5 home games). Here’s the “limited attendance” data for sake of archive / transparency:

2022     Attendance   Cap       Notes
------ -------- ------- ------
Game 1 200 fans 200 max (150 tix sold - 50 gifted to players' families)
Game 2 467 fans 500 max (450 tix sold - 50 gifted to players' families)
Game 3 428 fans 500 max (450 tix sold - 50 gifted to players' families)
Game 4 807 fans (no max)
Game 5 679 fans (no max)

I also wanted to take a look at our on-the-field performance (Win / Loss / Draw) over time to see if there was any correlation between how well the team plays vs. our overall attendance and/or revenue numbers. (see below)

It doesn’t look like there’s a real pattern here (er, 2022 was our worst season ever on the field, but our best season in terms of attendance), but at the same time the seasons where we do rack up wins, we make the playoffs (or at least fight to make the playoffs) which seems to drive higher attendance games later in the season (and therefore higher revenue), especially in 2017 (Conf Championship) and 2019 (where we *just missed* the playoffs).

This chart below only shows club performance over time, I encourage you to eyeball these numbers vs. the attendance chart above (scroll up).

Head Coaches:
2016 = George Vizvary // 2017, 2018 = David Lindholm // 2019, 2021, 2022 = Jamal Lis-Simmons

So What Else Changed? (2019, 2021, 2022)

Since I went without writing a recap for a few seasons, there really is a lot to catch up on! Let me go a few other things that feel worth sharing:

Food Trucks & Beer!

In 2019, we got the a-okay from the mayor of Kingston to bring external vendors into Dietz Stadium. We started with food trucks (requiring a permit from the city and a COI for the venue) before getting the approval to invite our friends from Keegan Ales to serve beers on site (which they do out of the backup of a pickup truck!)

The food truck / beer truck scene at Dietz … 1 Keegan Ales pickup truck (ha!), 2 food trucks, an ice cream truck, a farm stand, and the Radio Woodstock tent. This pic is prob taken 10 mins into 2nd half (at halftime it’s MOBBED)

The inclusion of food and beer totally changed the vibe of our game day experience for the better — people were able to make a 6pm kickoff, grab dinner for them/their familes from a local food truck, and enjoy a beer in the stands. Now this wasn’t without drama — beer hadn’t been served at our stadium in, maybe, twenty years (???) and it caused a mini uproar with some of the old guard in Kingston, but in the three years since we’ve been serving beers in the stadium we’ve had ZERO incidents of drunkenness or over-consumption.

A few notes on logistics: With 800–900 fans at a home game, we’ve found that one food truck is too few, three food trucks is too many (from the POV of the vendor, who wants to be busy serving food the entire game), but two food trucks feels just right. Often we’ve been doing two “trucks” (which require power / generators) and one “cart” (farmstand, pre-made sandwiches, hot dogs, ice cream). We have NOT been taking a cut of vendor revenue and we have NOT been charging a “parking spot fee” — I’m sure we could probably squeeze a few bucks from vendors, but to be honest, it’s been so great having them there and we have such a great rapport with the handful of vendors that come back regularly, that it doesn’t seem worth the hassle to take a fee. I try to get to the stadium 2 hours before kickoff to help with setup and logistics, and one of the first things I do is take some sidewalk chalk and draw out where I want each of the vendors to park (I literally draw giant rectangles on the asphalt and write the name of the food truck inside the box). That way, there’s no jockeying for space or “claiming” a spot… I’ve made the decision about who-parks-where before the trucks even arrive.)

Fun Side Story: We were *so excited* to have Keegan Ales at the stadium that I went out and made a bunch of Stockade FC beer koozies. For two years we sold them at the merch table (which is like 50 steps from the Keegan’s beer tent), but we’d only sell 2–3 koozies per game. Thinking they were just a dud product, I gave a stack of them to the folks at the beer tent who were pulling pints and said “See if you can sell these for a few bucks each” and, of course, now we sell 30 or 50 per game now (however many I happen to have in my trunk that day).

The infamous Stockade Koozies. Btw, I like the Keegan’s Hudson Lager, but I loooooove the Bine Climber (that’s my move on game days).

I also need to take a second and give a shoutout to Tommy Keegan (founder of Keegan Ales) who passed away in May of 2021. Tommy was one of the original supporters of our club, and was always willing to lend a hand, open his bar to our friends and fans, and was just an all-around amazing person. We’ve unofficially named the part of the stadium where fans and vendors meet “Keegan’s Court”, something we hope to make more official when the newly renovated Dietz Stadium re-opens in spring 2024. RIP Tommy, and thank you.

RIP Tommy Keegan, who passed away in May 2021.

Livestream in Spanish (!!)

Also, in 2019 we teamed up with the folks at Radio Kingston’s “La Voz“ radio show and started offering our livestream in Spanish. Special shoutout to Kale Kaposhilin for orchestrating this, Manuel Blas and Antonio Flores-Lobos for taking the lead on the play-by-play, and Radio Kingston for enabling it and promoting it to the Spanish speaking community in Kingston. I don’t know many other clubs in lower level soccer that are live-streaming in both English and Spanish (last I checked only ~60% of NPSL teams were streaming at all). The numbers (in terms of people tuning in) may not be gigantic, but the symbolism of inclusion — this team is for everyone in the community — is meaningful.

2022 Streaming Views
English* Spanish

5/7 vs. Hartford. ??? 141
5/28 vs. Cedar Stars ??? <no stream>
6/4 vs. Valeo FC. ??? 658 (!!)
6/18 vs. Syracuse FC. ??? 54
6/25 vs. NY Shockers ??? <no data?>

* waiting on data from MyCujoo/Eleven Sports

2022 Stockade streams in English

2022 Stockade streams in Spanish:

Btw, when I talk about Stockade FC in the abstract I often say that “we built a platform for the community”. In other words: “we do the work to organize an event that brings 1000 people from Kingston together for 2 hours every other weekend… now what do *you* want to build on top of that?” When I look at things like the Dutch Guard (our supporters group), the mini farmers market or veggie sandwich table, the Spanish livestream, etc. — all of which organically emerged from the community — I see this vision being realized.

Spanish play-by-play is always better, right? From our 2019 “unbeaten streak” where we tied Brooklyn in the final minutes to keep our playoff hopes alive. More:

Dutch Guard + Community Outreach

Speaking of “platforms”, there’s no greater example of this than the Dutch Guard, Stockade FC’s independent supporters group. If you’ve heard of them, you’re probably *heard them* … they’re at every Stockade FC game (home or away) with drums and songs and flags and smoke bombs. They represent the heart and soul of the fans in the stands, and they do great work both in and out of season for Stockade and the larger community.

Just this year, the Dutch Guard’s “Prideraiser” campaign raised almost $1500 for TransCloset of the Hudson Valley while their annual “Polar Plunge” raised $2,000 for the local chapter of the Special Olympics.

Don’t take our word for how impactful they are — the Dutch Guard were named the Independent Supporters Council’s (ISC) Philanthropic Group of the Year, while one of the DG’s loudest voices, Bradley Delmar, was named the NPSL’s league’s official “Supporter of the Season”. The Dutch Guard is routinely celebrated in local media (Hudson Valley One, Chronogram, etc.) and have become almost as much of an attraction as the team on the field. If you haven’t yet been to a Stockade home game, you really need to experience the stadium when there’s a dozen adults banging on drums, and twice as many kids dancing to the drumbeat in the aisles. We can’t be more thankful to the Dutch Guard for making Stockade their own and showing others how to do the same.

Fun Side Story: I’d say… 98% of fans love and appreciate the Dutch Guard. Every home game, I try to sit in the stands for a bit with my family. Someone always manages to find me and say “Hey, don’t you run this club? Can’t you make them stop the drumming?” I smile and say, “Thank you for the feedback, and yes, I will talk to them immediately after the game.” And wouldn’t you know, I always forget to talk to them about turning it down 🙂

The Dutch Guard, Dutch Guard’ing. They are the heart and soul of the fans, both in-season and out-of season.
The DG unveils a new tifo *every match* which is just incredible (and we’re almost running out of room to display them all). Someday I aspire to have an indoor space where we can hang them all, like a museum!

Stockade Alumni Network

Every year, at least one of our guys ends up getting picked up to play elsewhere — sometimes another club in the US; sometimes abroad. When we had 2 or 3 of our former players playing abroad, it was easy enough to keep track of who-went-where. As we started getting to approach a dozen players we started to keep a list. In an early blog post I wrote about how we hoped that Stockade FC could become a springboard for players who wanted to extend their playing careers at a higher level — hopefully giving them greater exposure and a network to aid them, and that’s exactly what happened (we currently have 5 players playing abroad).

Our alumni network is one of the unique advantages of our club — it communicates to coaches that we run a great program, it communicates to players that a summer with Stockade is worth your time. There’s a bit of folklore about Chris Wondolowski (former US Men’s National Team Player) getting his start in the NPSL (Chico Rooks, 2004) — this certainly inspired us back in the day, and I hope that Stockade is one of those clubs that produces top, nationally recognized talent one day.

Just a taste of the Stockade Alumni page. More at:

Local Soccer Ecosystem

This is a little “be careful what you wish for”, but it turns out that if you sing the gospel of “it’s awesome to build a soccer team in your town!” people may actually go and do it. When Stockade FC started in the NPSL (2016), we were the only NPSL club in our neck of the woods in NY state. These days we’ve got five different “D4” teams all within an hour drive of Kingston: (Note: I am not trying to take credit for these clubs existing — for example, Pathfinder’s youth club predates Stockade by at least 3 years)

  • NY Shockers (NPSL, 2021) out of Albany, NY (1 hour north)
  • Cedar Stars (NPSL, 2022) out of Middletown, NY (1 hour south)
  • Hammers (USL2, 2020) out of Newburgh (40 mins south)
  • Pathfinder (USL2, 2019) out of Pleasant Valley (40 mins southeast)
  • Fox Soccer Pro (UPSL, 2019) out of Warwick (1 hour south)

And while more teams in your own backyard is great for players (more opportunities!), great for fans (more local derbies!), it can be a bit of a challenge for clubs and coaches (more competition for the best talent!) Regardless, I love seeing all this growth, even if it does create a bit of drama here and there.

Another amazing thing we’ve been watching is startup youth organizations like La Finca in Kingston come online, offering low cost youth soccer training to kids in the Kingston area. During COVID, the folks at La Finace worked to turn outdoor pavilions in local public parks into small-sided turf courts, and then brought the same programming inside over the past year. Huge shoutout to Jed and Jeremey for grinding to grow the youth soccer ecosystem in Kingston! Again, this is totally independent of Stockade, but I like to think that our club helped kickstart something that’s led to the creation of amazing projects, products, and opportunities.

The first La Finca space was a converted outdoor pavilion in Marbletown (10 mins from Kingston). They’ve since gone on to create a half-dozen spaces like this for kids to get casual but high-quality training. More here:
More from La Finca — watch video here:

Looking Towards our 2023 Season in Poughkeepsie

As I mentioned early in the post, the single biggest change in the history of our club is coming up this season as our home stadium in Kingston is now closed for renovations. For the 2023 season we’ll be leaving Dietz Stadium (capacity 2000) for Tenney Stadium at Marist College in Poughkeepsie (capacity 5000), home of the D1 Marist Red Foxes soccer program.

Side note: Speaking of “be careful what you wish for”… if you remember from a few blog posts ago, Stockade was actively involved in the process of lobbying Albany for a NY state grant to help improve the uptown/downtown areas of Kingston. Long story short, Kingston was awarded a $10,000,000 grant — $2,500,000 of which was allocated to stadium renovation (new locker rooms, new press box, new electrical and data infrastructure, new entrance/exit layout, etc). This is HUGE news as the stadium is badly in need of renovation. In addition, the planning committee has been very proactive soliciting feedback from the community, we’ve been honored to be involved in the planning process, and we’re very excited to see this work get done.

A sketch of some of the changes coming to Dietz Stadium (!!) Click here to view the city’s presentation on all the pieces they plan on addressing — lots of great pics in here, especially of crumbling infrastucture, etc

While playing a season in Poughkeepsie (40 mins south) is a great opportunity for us to try to expand our audience / market, it also throws quite a monkey wrench in our “well-oiled machine” of a volunteer-run organization. Here’s some of what we’re up against:

  • What will our fanbase look like? Right now, we draw crowds from Kingston and the surrounding areas (Woodstock, Rhinebeck, etc). But what does it look like when we ask those folks to drive 40 mins south? Or maybe we end up drawing just as many fans from Poughkeepsie, leading to an overall larger fan base?
2022 Season Tickets Sold by Zipcode

Kingston 24%
Stone Ridge 5%
New Paltz 5%
Rhinebeck 3%
Kerhonkson 3%
Saugerties 3%
High Falls 3%
Poughkeepsie 2% <-- Big opportunity!
Woodstock 1%
Rosendale 1%
Other 49%

^^^ While this doesn't exactly inspire confidence, it does make
me realize what a huge opportunity we have to draw fans from
Poughkeepsie + Rheinbeck + Saugerties to Kingston.
Note: I eyeballed the Game Day Ticket data and they appear to
yield similar results. I think we (as an organization) believe in
this "Myth of the Fan from Dutchess County" but the data doesn't
really show it. But maybe this is our year to make it true!

Kingston vs. Poughkeepsie Population (stats from Google)

Kingston population = 24,000
Kingston/Metro population = 177,749

Poughkeepsie population = 32,000
Poughkeepsie/Metro population = 697,221
^^^ these "metro" number are from Google, but they seems crazy high to me
See that dense part of Ulster? That’s Kingston. Now see that dense chunk in lower Dutchess? That’s Poughkeepsie. BIG opportunity for us. Source:
  • What will the vibe at the stadium be? We’re going from Dietz Stadium with a capacity of 2000 capacity (really more like 1500 since no one ever sits on the “away side”) to a *much larger* stadium that can seat 5000 on a single sideline. I doubt we’ll have more than 1500 or 2000 fans at a game (omg, if we did that would be *amazing*), but let’s say our home opener has <1000 fans in a section that seats 5000… will we lose some of the energy that we get from being so densely packed in at Dietz in Kingston? Will that affect the players on the field who are used to feeing off the energy? Would a lack of energy affect attendance at future games?
  • What will our season ticket sales look like? Season tickets are a meaningful driver of revenue (15% of total revenue) and certainly help hedge against bad weather. Last year we sold 50% of our season tickets before the holidays, but this year we didn’t ever start selling tickets until the end of January (Jan 24). We missed the the holiday / stocking stuffer rush as we were still trying to finalize a stadium deal.
  • Who will be our 2023 sponsors? I’ve been keeping the news of us playing in Poughkeepsie quiet until the stadium deal was final and had a chance to officially announce the news, which means I am late in reaching out to existing / new sponsors to gauge their interest in 2023. As for existing sponsors, some are local Kingston-area businesses, so I can understand if they bow out for a season, though I wonder how difficult it will be to replace them on short notice. (I usually have sponsors wrapped up by end of January, but now we’re *just getting started* at the end of January. Remember what I said about finding sponsors making me anxious? Yikes!)
  • It’ll be more expensive. We get a pretty great deal on Dietz Stadium (~$850 game, including security and cleanup) and the cost to move to Marist for the season is more than twice that. We’re getting a great deal from our friends at Marist (thank you!) and the facilities are easily 2x nicer than Dietz, but for a club that already operates in the red, and entering a season with lots of uncertainty, I’m expecting we’ll be pretty far from breakeven the next time I sit down to write one of these blog posts.
  • Food & drink? Our game day experience at Dietz Stadium has been enhanced recently by food trucks and the ability to serve beer inside the stadium, but it’s unclear whether we’ll have the same flexibility at our new temporary home. (I imagine all this will be figured out in 2–3 weeks, I just haven’t had the time to clarify everything as of this writing).

The plus side of the move is that there’s a good chance we really do grow our audience and fanbase. I can imagine a 2024 season in which Dietz has 15% more fans in the stands, thanks to folks driving up from Poughkeepsie to spend a game day in Kingston. (15% more of 871 average fans in 2022 would put us at an average of 1000 fans/game in 2024 which would be amazing). Also, Tenney Stadium @ Marist College is an *incredible* facility and it’ll be great to give our fans a taste of what an upgraded facility feels like before we move back to a freshly-renovated Dietz in spring 2024.

The “Now What?” of Lower Level Soccer

In my last blog post (May 2018), I wrote about this idea of “Now what?” We had qualified for the Open Cup. We had gotten within spitting-distance of breakeven (5%). We were creating fans where they didn’t exist and we were inspiring kids to play. So now what?

A lot has changed since I wrote that. Back then, we were hell–bent on finding a viable path to take our team from amateur to professional, from short–season to full-season, from side-project to business. The middle chunk of that blog post from May 2018 explored business model optons for going from “zero dollar contracts” to a $300,000 roster while trying to figure out how we’d grow attendance to 3000 fans/game to pay for it. We had our eyes on going pro, and fighting to create a promotion & relegation system that we ourselves aspired to be promoted into.

My head is *so far* from that space right now. We pursued a CAS case to clarify why the US is allowed to ignore FIFA’s promotion & relegation requirements (Article 9) and the case was essentially dismissed. Any work I’ve done to try to bring different lower level leagues closer together in hopes of collaboration has been rejected. If anything, the problem of “leagues trying to kill each other ” has gotten worse instead of better. To be honest, the politics of lower level soccer have crushed my soul more than I’ve previously cared to admit. (As of December 2021, I am no longer part of the NPSL’s Board of Directors and I no longer play a role in league leadership.)

So now what? What do you do as an owner of a lower level club that’s seeing moderate success** but is still dedicated to having the greatest impact on the game as possible?

*Our* answer is that we’re going to start to focus less on “building up” (going pro) and more on “building down” (developing local players and local coaches). We call this our “Stockade Futures” program.

When you talk to our fans, the feedback we get is less “I sure wish Stockade was a pro team” and more “Where do I get top training for my 10yo without having to drive an hour north/east/south/west?”. So that is what we’re going to focus our attention on for the next few years. Not just the camps and clinics, but the *infrastructure* that supports the camps and clinics. For us, the long game is less “attracting top talent *TO* the Hudson Valley ” and more “developing top talent *IN* the Hudson Valley”. (My current thesis is that this version of “the long game” will be the thing that helps us grow from 1000 fans/game to 3000 fans/game, and perhaps eventually from short-season amateur to full-season pro. Said another way: This is not us “giving up “on the dream of going pro… this is more of a “reset” of our expectations of what’s doable in lower level soccer in 2023*** and exploring an alternate path to try to get to where we want to be.)

Thankfully, we’re not starting from a blank slate — we’ve been hosting free or low-cost youth clinics for a few years now and we’re going to host our first week-long camps this summer (2 weeks of camps in Poughkeepsie). Our Technical Director, Dan Hoffay has been leading these efforts and has done a lot of writing on the topic of growing local talent while trying to end exclusionary nature of play-to-play youth soccer (aka: instead of youth development propping up a First Team, how about the First Team props up the youth development?). These are just first steps. We’re slowly starting to partner with local youth soccer clubs with the intent of developing shared resources, training methodologies, and talent pipelines for both players and coaches. We launched a U23 team last year, and we’ll be launching a U20 team this summer. Our goal for this year is to “keep moving forward” with the expectation that small steps now will turn into larger leaps in the near future.

Now imagine this patch on the jerseys of a dozen of different youth programs, being worn by hundreds of youth players all throughout the Hudson Valley…

** Re: Moderate Success” = I mean, we’re doing pretty well as a club, right? All-time best attendance, all-time best revenue numbers… but where *should* we be? Should we be happy with plateauing near 1000 fans/game, or should we be beating ourselves up that we’re not at 2500 fans/game? Should we be okay with getting close to breakeven, or should we be 20% profit over expenses that we’re reinvesting back into the club? Should we be complacent with 2 playoffs runs in 6 seasons, or should the Hudson Valley produce more? To be honest, even after seven years of doing this, I don’t have a great answer to these Qs as there’s so few data points out there for us to compare ourselves to.

*** Re: “what’s doable in lower level soccer in 2023” = American businesspeople and celebrities choosing to invest in lower level European soccer clubs instead of investing in lower level American soccer clubs tells you all you need to know about the state of lower level soccer in the US. Teams in open leagues that support promotion/relegation (Europe) are better investments than teams in closed leagues that do not (US). The USSF (the governing body of US Soccer) needs to address this instead of ignoring it, and needs new leadership (at all levels) capable of painting a bigger, and more inclusive, vision and strategy for the American soccer ecosystem. If US Soccer invests in American soccer infrastructure, entrepreneurs will invest in the American soccer ecosystem. Without change it’s just gonna be “league eat league” for another 10 years, which is a waste of people’s time and energy.

Back to Stockade…. 2023 marks Stockade’s 6th season in 7 years. The goals we sent for ourselves a few years ago (“Qualify for US Open Cup, get to financially breakeven”) are in the rear-view and so it’s time for a new, ahem, “updated”, set of goals to reach for. We now have our sights set on 2026 — the 10 year anniversary of Stockade FC’s launch (!!) and the year the United States is set to host the next World Cup.

By summer 2026 we’re hoping to:

  • Break ground on our own owned-and-operated training facility. With the cost of training field rentals being our single biggest expense –an expense that is delaying our growth and ambitions — this is the #1 problem we need to solve.
  • Offer Stockade FC-branded Youth Training for both boys and girls. We aspire to offer training programs designed to supplement the training kids are already getting from their local youth clubs / youth organizations.
  • Field competitive Youth Travel Teams for both boys and girls. We imagine these teams will be stacked with the best talent from our Youth Training programs. The goal here isn’t to cannibalize local youth clubs — the goal is for Stockade FC to clearly offer the best youth soccer opportunities in the Hudson Valley. We aspire to run teams that other local youth clubs want to send their best players to.
  • Field competitive U20, U23 and First Teams for teams for both men and women. We imagine these teams will be stacked with the talent developed by our Youth Travel Teams. A woman’s program is long overdue (I swore we’d have a Stockade Women’s Team by the time my daughter was 5yo, and she’ll be 7yo at the start of this season), but the key is finding a way to do so in a sustainable way (without just shoveling money at the problem and without burning-out our volunteer staff).
  • Be on track to not just qualify for the US Open Cup again, but *host* a home US Open Cup game here in the Hudson Valley. (Even just typing this out gives me goosebumps.)
  • Become a “Forever Club”. I read somewhere about the lifespan of a lower level soccer club in the US being two years. My early blog posts on Stockade wrote about wanting us to make it ten years. These days, I’m focused on building something that’s around forever and making a meaningful contribution to both local talent and the community that supports our club. I mean, we have five players (men) playing abroad right now… but how big can we dream?

Part of the reason I’m putting in writing is to hold myself accountable. As of today (Jan 2023) I *do not* have a masterplan for how to accomplish all this (ha!), although writing about the plan and talking about it aloud helps to make the path forward just a little clearer (remember: “Writing is thinking”). With any luck, the bullet points above are what we’ll be writing our future blog posts about.

And so let’s wrap it up here. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us with prepping for the 2023 season and our stadium relocation. We hope you continue to follow along to see how the season works out, or even come up for a home game in Poughkeepsie (easy train ride from NYC!) I’ll leave you with the photo – my three kids at a Stockade match (one of SamSam’s first games ever!) sitting with their cousins and some friends from school. The bald guy is my buddy Rob, one of my best friends from high school (and O.G. US Open Cup fan from 1992) who drove up from Virginia to see the Stockade, as he tries to do every summer.

At the end of the day, THIS is what we built — a way for friends and family, kids and adults, fans and folks new to the game to all get together to watch the local team play. It all started with that. Now let’s see where we can take it. #WeAreStockade

ps: Remember, a great way to support our club is to buy Season Tickets! And a huge thank you to all our fans – wherever you are – for all your support and all that you do!





Dennis Crowley

I like to build things (Founder @Foursquare 📱, @StockadeFC ⚽️, Dodgeball 📟). Husband to @Chelsa & dad to 👧🏼❄️ & 👶🏼🚀 I enjoy snowboards, soccer & hot dogs