Chattanooga FC is the first sports team to offer shares to investors in a corporation via an online platform since the passage of the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startup) Act in late 2016. CFC's goal is $1,070,000, the maximum under the law.
The $376,375 raised as of Tuesday evening came from 1,444 investors. Shares are sold in increments of $125. CFC has sold 3,011 of the 8,000 shares on offer. Per financial statements released, it suffered a net loss of $132,161 on revenues of $771,870 in 2017 after operating at a small profit in 2015 and 2016. CFC transferred all its assets and liabilities to a new business, Beautiful Game, Inc., last November.
Chattanooga FC, which averaged more than 3,000 a game in 2018, was founded in 2009 and has been one of the best supported teams in the amateur NPSL. It set an NPSL record with 18,227 fans at the 2015 league final. Chattanooga has successfully hosted both U.S. men's and women's national team games at Finley Stadium, CFC's home venue and the stadium for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga football and women's soccer teams.
Chattanooga FC intends to enter the NPSL's new 11-team Founders Cup in August and employ professional players. Bill Elliott has returned to coach CFC for an eighth season and will be general manager. In the offering, Chattanooga FC states it will use half of the money it raises for player payroll if it raises $1,070,000.
Sean McDaniel, one of the club's founding members, resigned as general manager last fall and joined the Chattanooga Red Wolves, a startup team in the new USL League One.
Chattanooga FC chairman Tim Kelly has been vocal about the strength of small markets like Chattanooga and the need to operate separate from the USL's franchise model.