South Bend Lions announce plans for socially distanced celebration

York9 FC of the Canadian Premier League is the first team to agree not to play in the Bend as plans for virtual tailgate party are revealed

South Bend, IN (April 21, 2020) — South Bend Lions had planned for May 9 to be the date of our inaugural game at TCU School Field.

A special day that would culminate in an exhibition game that would bring the community together for the very first time in support of their new club.

Understandably that won’t now be happening.

However, we are excited to announce that teams from around the world have now agreed not to play us instead and the aim is for supporters to come together to stage a virtual tailgate on what would have been the date of South Bend Lions’ inaugural game.

York9 FC, who finished third overall in the first season of the Canadian Premier League, is the first team to back the occasion, with more to follow.

Fans will even be able to purchase commemorative etickets from both and via York9’s online shop for $1 in their respective currency, for the game that won’t be played. Proceeds raised will be utilized to provide support to COVID-19 relief funds.

Chris Rivett, South Bend Lions’ marketing and communications consultant said: “When it became apparent quite early on that we wouldn’t be able to stage events as we’d planned for our inaugural game, we started evaluating what we could do instead and how we could use that to support relief efforts locally.

“We decided that if we couldn’t host everyone as we’d envisaged, then we should aim not to play lots of clubs on May 9, while still enjoying the day with a tailgate party from the comfort of our own homes.

“We are keen to use this opportunity now to connect communities from different countries, and we’re delighted York9 FC has agreed to be the first team to support our non-gameday celebration and we look forward to not playing them.”

Further information will be announced via and the club’s social media channels in the days ahead, including the opportunity for you to have your say in how proceeds are distributed in Indiana.