History

Legion Stadium

Wilmington Hammerheads FC plays all USL regular season home matches at Legion Stadium in Wilmington, NC.

Legion Stadium was built in 1938 as a Jobs-Creation Project by the Federal Works Progress Administration on land donated to New Hanover County by American Legion Post 10. It has been renovated periodically by New Hanover County and the City of Wilmington. Over the years, it has been the location of activities ranging from ball games to concerts to horse and car races.

  • 1996

    • First season of play by the Hammerheads.
    • South Atlantic Division Conference Playoff Champions.
    • 1996 Leader in Average Home Attendance per game.
    • Founded by Al Pastore.
  • 1997

    • Set club record at the time of six consecutive shutouts.
  • 1998

    • Ownership group of Dr. Dale Boyd, Bruce Cavenaugh, Bill Rudisill and David Schroeder took over.
    • Team finishes fifth in South Atlantic Division of the D3 Pro League.
  • 1999

    • David Irving becomes Head Coach. Irving was the fourth coach in a 13-month span. He came to Wilmington following two seasons as Head Coach of the Myrtle Beach Seadawgs.
    • After three years of attempting to use Legion Stadium as home field for the Hammerheads, a deal was struck. The Hammerheads originally played at Laney High School Stadium.
    • The Hammerheads win their ‘Home Opener’ and debut at Legion Stadium against Carolina Dynamo, 3-1.
  • 2000

    • Qualifying for the U.S. Open Cup for the third straight year in a row, they host the New York/ New Jersey Metrostars. Finish second overall in the Southern Conference.
    • 2000 D3 Pro League Marketing Excellence Award.
  • 2001

    • As Legion Stadium goes under renovation, the Hammerheads make UNC Wilmington Soccer Stadium their new home field.
    • 2001 D3 Southern Conference Regular Season Champions.
    • 2001 D3 Pro League Organization of the Year.
    • 2001 Carolina Pro Cup Champions.
  • 2002

    • March 9, 2002 – The Hammerheads host Washington Freedom v. Carolina Courage at Legion Stadium. The Freedom bring Mia Hamm, Abby Wambach, and Siri Mullinix; the Courage bring U.S. National Team member Tiffany Roberts, Danielle Slaton, Danielle Fotopoulos, Kristin Luckenbill and Nel Fettig.
    • 2002 D3 USL Pro League Championship Finalist.
    • 2002 D3 USL Pro League Organization of the Year.
    • 2002 D3 USL Pro League Fair Play Award.
  • 2003

    • Host Washington Freedom v. Carolina Courage for second year in a row.
    • U.S. Open Cup Quarter Finals v. DC United.
    • 2003 USL Pro Soccer League Organization of the Year.
    • 2003 Carolina Pro Cup Champions.
    • Hammerheads take 2003 USL Pro Soccer League National Title after a win against the Westchester Flames, 2-1.
  • 2004

    • Hammerheads host first ever international match versus Sunderland AFC Black Cats.
    • July 21, 2004 – Declared Wilmington Hammerheads Day.
  • 2005

    • For third year in a row Hammerheads return to the U.S. Open Cup.
    • Coach Irving decides to remain with the Hammerheads as opposed to moving to Portland for dual role as Head Coach and General Manager.
    • 2005 USL D2 Marketing Excellence Award.
  • 2006

    • April 22, 2006 – Wilmington Hammerheads win Pepsi Cup.
    • Sheffield Wednesday FC travels to Wilmington for exhibition match, 1-1.
    • Hammerheads make U.S. Open Cup once more. A win leads to battle against the New York Red Bulls of MLS.
  • 2007

    • Hammerheads join Passback Program – fans donate gently used or new soccer equipment that would then be redistributed to communities in help regardless of income, gender, or location.
    • First overseas road trip. Hammerheads win 1-0 against the Bermuda Hogges.
  • 2008

    • The Hammerheads have new ownership group led by Chuck Sullivan.
    • 2008 USL Marketing Excellence Award.
  • 2009

    • Legion Stadium hosts UNC Chapel Hill v. Washington Freedom.
    • Claimed first ever USL Division 2 Regular Season Championship.
    • U.S. Open Cup Quarter Finals v. Rochester Rhinos.
  • 2011

    • The Hammerheads return from one-year hiatus to play at Legion Stadium.
    • New ownership group including: Bill Rudisill, Clyde Harris, Cindy Harris, Mario Basegoda and Sara Borcherding.
    • Hammerheads Head Coach David Irving inducted into USL Men’s Hall of Fame, Coach.
  • 2012

    • 2012 USL PRO Championship: Wilmington Hammerheads v. Charleston Battery. Battery wins, 1-0.
    • Hammerheads Majority Owner Bill Rudisill inducted into USL Men’s Hall of Fame, Builder.
    • 2012 USL PRO Progress Award.
  • 2013

    • USL PRO announces groundbreaking partnership with MLS. Hammerheads play New York Red Bulls Reserves, home and away.
    • U.S. Open Cup Third Round v. Portland Timbers.
    • Bill Rudisill sells Hammerheads to George Altirs following the conclusion of the 2013 USL PRO regular season.
  • 2014

    • Hammerheads rebrand with new logo and become Wilmington Hammerheads FC.
    • Announce official one-year MLS partnership with Toronto FC.
    • Hammerheads advance to USL playoffs
  • 2015

    • Hammerheads become official partners with new MLS team New York City FC.
  • 2016

    • Mark Briggs named new head coach.

 

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