Quick Thoughts: Lansing Ignite’s Season Begins in Richmond
December 7, 2018
The first glimpse of the schedule has been released by USL League One for it’s inaugural season. Here are some brief thoughts on the matches that have been announced so far. Also, keep an eye on our site for some analysis on the full schedule when that is released on December 10th!
Ideal Situation for the Home Opener
While all of us here are very eager for the first ever Lansing Ignite home game, USL’s decision to have Lansing go south to start the season is probably a smart one. As anyone who has been to a Tigers opening day can attest, the later in the season it is, the better. Obviously Michigan weather is completely unpredictable, and even a mid-April opener could somehow end up being the last blizzard of the year. But statistically, the later in the season we start at home, the better the chance of a beautiful day.
The other big news is that the Lansing home opener will be on a Saturday night (April 13th at 7PM). Obviously, Saturday nights are going to be the best attended Ignite games this year. Having the home opener on a pleasant April Saturday night is the ideal situation to see huge attendance for the home opener. And that is something we all want to see.
Concern That Our “Rival” will be Richmond
First, let me quickly explain how USL League One schedules will work this year. Every one of the ten teams will be playing 28 games as part of the schedule. Ignite will be playing eight of the teams in the league three times. Then, each team has a “rival” team, which they will play four times.
When this schedule format was announced, pretty much every member of The Assembly Line was dying for that rival team to be Madison. Madison makes sense as a rival for Lansing in a multitude of ways. It is going to be the easiest commute for away games of any USL team (see the USL League One map below). Madison and Lansing are both capital cities, and both Big Ten schools. For the vast majority of fans in both Madison and Lansing, those games will be the only realistic chance to go to an away game.
However, if you see the map, you can tell there has to be an “odd man out” between Lansing, Madison, and Toronto. One of them will likely have Richmond as the rival team that they play four times. Based on the early season schedule release, there is a decent chance that Lansing may be that team. Lansing will be playing Richmond two out of the first three games this year. So, either we only play Richmond one more time throughout the rest of the 2019 season, or they are the “rival”. Right now, my gut says that it will be Richmond, but we will find out for sure in a few days. If that is the case, it will certainly be a disappointing development..
Comment From “The Red Army”
On a Facebook post that The Assembly Line made regarding this schedule announcement, Richard Hayes of the “Red Army” (the supporters group of the Richmond Kickers) reached out and had this to say….
“I’m one of the leaders of the Red Army the Richmond Kickers’ Supporter group. I know it’s quite a trek but if any supporters make the journey for the first ever Ignite game let us know. We welcome other supporter groups to our tailgates for beers, food, and smack talk.
Best of luck and see you in March.”
Pretty cool statement, and they seem like a great group to share a beer with. Thanks for the comment Richard!
Example Travel Prices to Richmond, Virginia
Flying out of Lansing to Richmond International Airport: $263 (Delta Airlines)
Taking the drive to Detroit to fly to Richmond International Airport entails… $338 (Delta Airlines)
Drive Time from Cooley Law School Stadium to City Stadium in Richmond, Virginia…… 10hours 26minutes (685 miles)
Approximate Round Trip Fuel Cost For a Standard Car…. $127.57
Average High on March 30th in Richmond… 65 degrees
Average Low on March 30th in Richmond… 41 degrees