SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The South Bend Lions had planned May 9 to be the date of their inaugural game at TCU School Field.
It promised to be a special day that would culminate in an exhibition game that would bring the community together for the very first time in support of their new USL League Two club.
Understandably, that now won’t be happening. But the club has arrived at an innovative solution.
On Tuesday morning, the Lions announced that teams from around the world have now agreed not to play them, with the Canadian Premier League's York9 FC the first side that will not compete in South Bend while allowing supporters to come together to stage a virtual tailgate on what would have been the date of South Bend Lions’ inaugural game.
Fans will be able to purchase commemorative etickets from both repthebend.com for $1 in their respective currency for the game that won’t be played. Proceeds raised will be utilized to provide support to COVID-19 relief funds.
“When it became apparent quite early on that we wouldn’t be able to stage events as we’d planned for our inaugural game, we started evaluating what we could do instead and how we could use that to support relief efforts locally,” said Chris Rivett, South Bend Lions’ marketing and communications consultant. “We decided that if we couldn’t host everyone as we’d envisaged, then we should aim not to play lots of clubs on May 9, while still enjoying the day with a tailgate party from the comfort of our own homes.
“We are keen to use this opportunity now to connect communities from different countries”
Further information will be announced via southbendlions.com and the club’s social media channels in the days ahead, including the opportunity for you to have your say in how proceeds are distributed in Indiana.