"We're serious:" Ahead of Miller Park soccer match, group pushes for professional team in Wisconsin

MILWAUKEE -- There's a big game Tuesday evening, July 14th at Miller Park -- but this isn't a baseball game! Instead, it's a soccer matchup between Newcastle United and Club Atlas. Ahead of the match, FOX6 News caught up with a group pushing for a professional soccer team in Wisconsin.

The Milwaukee Barons organized the "Miller Park March" and a tailgate in the Miller Park parking lot in an effort to prove that Wisconsin can support a high-level professional outdoor soccer team.

Soccer at Miller Park

The Barons are an independent supporters group focused on uniting the community in an effort to bring a true professional soccer team to the state.

"We're serious about wanting a team and supporting a team," James Moran, executive director of the Milwaukee Soccer Development Group, from which the Milwaukee Barons were born.

The tailgate was set to begin at 5:00 p.m., followed by the march at 7:30 p.m. The tailgate was a fundraiser for the Milwaukee Soccer Development Group and included a DJ, soccer-related games and injury prevention assessments. It was also an opportunity to raise awareness about the Milwaukee Barons and the effort to bring a soccer team to this state.

The Milwaukee Barons are hoping to reach a goal of 5,000 season ticket pledges to prove that our state is ready for a professional soccer team.

Milwaukee Barons

"For this to be successful, for this to be a true, grassroots movement, we need everybody from the community. I need the soccer players down at the lakefront. I need the soccer players down on the southside. Everybody, in all these different leagues, to come and support it. We want to prove to investors that we're ready to support a team, and they've challenged us. I've been personally challenged to come up with 5,000 pledges for season tickets," Moran said.

Moran says Tuesday's event at Miller Park provided an opportunity to push for pledges -- with Milwaukee's 'soccer pubs' (the Highbury Pub, the Three Lions Pub, the Upper 90 Sports Pub and Red Lion Pub) selling $20 tailgate tickets to raise money.

"They're donating $5 from every ticket to the Milwaukee Soccer Development Group," Moran said.

Milwaukee Barons

The soccer matchup between Newcastle United and Club Atlas was scheduled to begin at 8:00 p.m.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the Milwaukee Soccer Development Group.