A newly formed group is planning to bring a United Soccer League Championship team to Buffalo.

Western New York native Peter Marlette Jr. announced on Thursday the formation of the group Buffalo Pro Soccer, and plans to bring a pro soccer club to Buffalo by 2026 through an exclusive partnership with USL.

The announcement states that Marlette, as president of the organization, will work alongside club owners, elected officials, business partners, community leaders and more to make a club a reality in Western New York.

“Given soccer’s incredible growth trajectory in the United States, it’s time that Buffalo — one of America’s most passionate sports cities — joins the movement with its own professional club,” said Marlette. “This club will represent the hard work, resilience, innovation and pride that our community is known for. I’m committed to building a winning USL Championship club and I look forward to collaborating with everyone who believes in Buffalo. Together, we’ll write a new chapter in our city's vibrant civic and sports history.” 

“This is an exciting time for sports in Buffalo. I commend Peter Marlette, the president of Buffalo Pro Soccer, for his plans to bring United Soccer League professional soccer to our city,” said Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown. “Buffalo is known worldwide as a great city for sports, and this will add to our reputation. I wish Buffalo Pro Soccer the best of luck.”

Marlette is a Buffalo native who played five seasons with FC Buffalo. He served the past three years as general manager of 2021 USL League One champion Union Omaha. Marlette previously worked for FC Dallas of Major League Soccer.

In 2024, the USL Championship features 24 men’s professional teams playing a 34-game regular season from March to October. It is the only league sanctioned by U.S. Soccer’s Division II. USL Championship teams average nearly 6,000 fans per game, with some teams regularly drawing more than 10,000.