Updated with more information at 4 p.m. on Feb. 3, 2021.
Chattanooga will be in the spotlight as the National Independent Soccer Association begins its 2021 spring season with a tournament at Finley Stadium.
Chattanooga Football Club and NISA's eight other clubs will participate in the tournament from April 13-25, with the winner securing a spot in the spring semifinal of the league's 2020-21 playoffs on June 30 at Detroit's Keyworth Stadium.
Finley Stadium will host the city's largest ever professional soccer tournament. Chattanooga FC will be joined by the California United Strikers FC, Detroit City FC, Los Angeles Force, Maryland Bobcats FC, Michigan Stars FC, New Amsterdam FC, San Diego 1904 FC and Stumptown Athletic.
"Hosting 14 matches over (13) days at Finley is good for our fans, our league and will be really great for our city," CFC director of operations Jeremy Alumbaugh told the Times Free Press. "With the teams, TV crews, officials and fans that will be coming into our city, the tournament is going to have a strong economic impact. We have a great facility and can put on a really good event here."
Due to the league's COVID-19 protocol, the tournament will have reduced capacity at Finley Stadium, which has a capacity of 20,412.
The tournament is an advance to the NISA spring regular season, which will be played from May 1 to June 27, and the spring regular-season champion secures the second semifinal spot. The winner of the June 30 semifinal will play the reigning fall champion, Detroit City FC, for the overall 2020-21 season title on July 3 at Keyworth Stadium.
CFC will play eight regular-season matches — four each home and away — this spring after playing less than 15 all of last year due to the pandemic. Despite an extended shutdown and limitations on fan attendance in 2020, CFC won the NISA Independent Cup Southeast Region title last summer as the league returned to competition and the NISA Eastern Conference regular-season championship last fall before advancing to the semifinals of the fall playoffs.