Sad news for local sports, and especially soccer fans. After 7 years the Grand Rapids Football Club is shutting down.

Created in 2014, the team played most of its home games at Houseman Field where fans would march for blocks to see the game. The Grand Army, that's what the fan base was called, turned out by the thousands, rabid for the beautiful game.

The team says the shutdown was due to several financial challenges, including some that came about during the pandemic. The club said a lack of a 2020 season and no home venue left them with few options. They did play this past season at the Kentwood soccer facility.

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WZZM reported that the Grand Rapids Football Club played its first season in 2015. At that time, Grand Rapids native Joe Broekhuizen was playing soccer in Finland. When he heard about the team, he was ready to get back home.

He came back to play for the team for several seasons before becoming the general manager. His biggest motivation? His hometown fans.

"Grand Rapids people are passionate about whatever they do and whatever they get their hands on," Broekhuizen told WZZM-13.

Broekhuizen believes soccer will return to the city at some point, and it's all because GRFC proved it was possible.

KEEP READING: See how sports around the world have been impacted by the coronavirus

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