Wilfred Williams was one of the few people connected with the Tri-Cities FC Otters to have ever stepped foot in TVA Credit Union Ballpark. But he never thought he’d see a soccer game there.
On Sunday, Williams took part in the first soccer game in the baseball stadium formerly called Cardinal Park and he came away impressed.
“The last time I was here I was watching Daniel Norris play a baseball game,” Williams said after the Otters beat Appalachian FC 1-0 in an exhibition game. “Seeing a soccer match here is just surreal. It’s cool that the city is embracing the sport and hopefully we can get a buzz out there and get more fans to come to the stadium.”
An enthusiastic crowd estimated at around 200 enjoyed the atmosphere. They watched from the Perch — the beer garden along what is usually the third base line — the grandstand and some high-top tables set up on the field. Kids playing drums much of the day provided a soccer-specific feel.