Gold Star Detroit FC, Madonna University announce plans for 5,000-seat stadium in Livonia

Detroit News

A third-division soccer club is bringing a new stadium to Madonna University.

Gold Star Detroit Football Club, which officially formed in August and intends to play in the National Independent Soccer Association (NISA) in 2023, announced on Tuesday plans to build a 5,000-seat pro soccer stadium in Livonia that’s set to open next spring “in collaboration with Madonna University.”

The release adds that the stadium will host Gold Star Detroit FC matches, Madonna athletic events and “top entertainment events, including concerts.”

“This is an exciting opportunity for Madonna University and the city of Livonia,” Madonna University president Ian Day said. “… This stadium project represents the beginning of a long-term relationship. We look forward to a world-class experience for all current and future Crusaders.”

Gold Star FC is owned by Dan Milstein, a Detroit-based entrepreneur and founder and chairman of Gold Star Group, and Alex Lubyansky, a former University of Michigan goalkeeper. Gold Star Group deals in mortgages, sports management, films and publishing. Milstein is the player-agent for several top National Hockey League players, including former Detroit Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk and Tampa Bay Lightning stars Nikita Kucherov and Andrei Vasilevskiy.

The formation of Gold Star Detroit FC in August came in conjunction with an announcement that Gold Star was also buying Andorran soccer club FC Santa Coloma, touting a direct line to the UEFA Champions League. For context, FiveThirtyEight’s Global Club Soccer rankings do not include FC Santa Coloma in their 643-club list; USL Championship side Detroit City FC is No. 573.

Gold Star’s intentions to build a new stadium appeared on the agenda at a Livonia zoning board meeting in early August. When asked what he could share about these plans a few days later during an exclusive Q&A with The Detroit News, Milstein said the stadium would also “have a dome in the winter, so that local teams and kids can come and use the facility.

“… In the summer, the dome will be (off) and we’ll have initially 5,000-to-10,000 seats, and we’ll take it from there. But it will be a very nice facility, something in the tri-county that many people would be proud of, and it’s going to be multi-use as well,’ Milstein said.

Gold Star’s news release on Tuesday did not explicitly mention the plans to build the stadium with a retractable dome, what kind of access the community would have to the grounds or its intentions to host youth leagues.

The release stated that Gold Star FC has partnered with Sogility, a company that provides “technology-driven soccer training,” to outfit the new complex. The release also said that the stadium’s naming rights and corporate sponsorship opportunities will be handled by Gemini Sports, which “has worked in this capacity” for stadiums including the Golden State Warriors’ Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif. and the Anaheim Ducks’ Honda Center in Anaheim.

“Soccer fans in Michigan are going to be thrilled with the new stadium’s atmosphere and to have a hometown club with a direct line to a Champions League Club in Europe,” Gemini Sports president Rob Yowell said.

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