Cardinal Stadium Aerial

Washtenaw County’s semi-pro soccer team has found a new home at Concordia University Ann Arbor.

Concordia leaders reached a multiyear agreement with AFC Ann Arbor that will see The Mighty Oak utilize CUAA’s Cardinal Stadium starting in the 2019 season, which begins with a home opener on May 12.

Last season, The Mighty Oak played home matches in four separate venues. AFC Ann Arbor co-owner Rishi Narayan said in a news release that Concordia’s space and amenities will provide the ideal size and setup for the team, especially with the launch of a women’s team this season.

“We’ve been looking for a venue for some time now that we can truly call ‘home,’” Narayan said in the release. “We’ve loved playing at our area high schools, but we are excited that our fans can have some stability and know where they need to go to watch The Mighty Oak.”

As one of the most up-to-date stadiums in all of Washtenaw County, CUAA’s Cardinal Stadium boasts a turf field, 1,300-seat grandstand capacity, locker rooms, athletic training room, and additional amenities. The stadium was built in 2015 and is utilized by Concordia’s football, soccer, and lacrosse teams. CUAA’s athletics roster include 24 NAIA programs in all, including men’s and women’s ice hockey which hosted their inaugural seasons this past fall.

In the past, Concordia has served as a training site for AFC Ann Arbor, and students from the university’s Sport and Entertainment Business program have benefitted from internships with the franchise. CUAA Director of Athletics Lonnie Pries says this new partnership will open the door to new experiential learning opportunities for even more Concordia students. A member of the CUAA Cardinals men’s soccer program, Spencer Ward (’20), is also on the Mighty Oak’s roster for the 2019 season.

“AFC Ann Arbor is a well-recognized and appreciated organization in Washtenaw County, and we are excited to have this connection to such a strong community brand,” Pries says. “Our CUAA students have worked at some of the most recognizable events in the sporting industry, including the Super Bowl and the NCAA Final Four, and they are prepared to offer equally impressive skills to The Mighty Oak franchise moving forward. We’re eager to continue to explore even more ways to leverage this new partnership with AFC for the benefit of all involved.”

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— This story is written by Kali Thiel, director of university communications for Concordia University Ann Arbor and Wisconsin. She may be reached at or 262-243-2149.

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