PAWTUCKET, Rhode Island – The Rhode Island Professional Soccer Club, which is slated to join the United Soccer League Championship and play at the newly developed Tidewater Landing Stadium in Pawtucket, announced the hiring of Paul Byrne as the Stadium General Manager.
Byrne is the first employee to be hired by Rhode Island Professional Soccer and Tidewater Landing Stadium. He will oversee all aspects of stadium operations and will report directly into the organization’s board of directors.
Byrne comes to Rhode Island Professional Soccer and Tidewater Landing Stadium from the Washington Commanders of the National Football League where he last served as the Vice President of Operations. Byrne has had a 22-year career in sports with 19 years in Major League Soccer between the NY/NJ MetroStars and the Houston Dynamo. Byrne was with the MetroStars from 2001-2006 where he served as the Director of Operations, and he was with the Houston Dynamo and BBVA Compass Stadium from 2006 to 2017 where he was the Vice President of Operations.
“We are beyond thrilled to have Paul on board as our Stadium GM,” said Brett Johnson, Chairman of the Rhode Island Soccer Professional Soccer Club. “To have an individual with Paul’s experience and expertise is an exciting development for us. We are looking to build the premier sports and entertainment destination in Rhode Island and having quality professionals like Paul on our team is critical.”
«I am excited to be joining Fortuitous Partners and Tidewater Stadium in bringing professional soccer to Rhode Island.» Byrne said. «I look forward to working alongside ownership to create a welcoming space for sports, community gatherings, and events at Tidewater Landing.»
Byrne’s hiring is another exciting development and sign of progress for the club. The club launched its social media platform on January 14, went live with its website on January 21, and revealed a campaign to engage Rhode Islanders in the process of helping create the team’s identity.
While with the Dynamo, Byrne was a part of two MLS Cup Championship teams and helped lead the club’s transition into its newly constructed 22,000-seat downtown soccer-specific stadium. He also helped oversee the development of the club’s state-of-the-art training complex.
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About Rhode Island Professional Soccer
Rhode Island Professional Soccer plans to play in the United Soccer League (USL) Championship Division. The USL is the largest and fastest-growing professional soccer organization in North America. The Championship Division is sanctioned by the U.S. Soccer Federation as a Division II professional league and includes over 30 clubs across the United States.
About Fortuitous Partners
Fortuitous Partners is a real estate development firm that invests in sports-anchored real estate projects and operating companies, particularly sports and entertainment-based businesses. The principals of Fortuitous have decades of experience in real estate, public and private company operations, private equity, and fund management. Fortuitous Partners has the exclusive rights to bring a USL Championship League team to Rhode Island.
About Brett M. Johnson
Brett M. Johnson is the Chairman of the Rhode Island Soccer Professional Soccer Club. He is also the founder of Benevolent Capital and Fortuitous Partners. His involvement in soccer extends beyond Rhode Island as serves on the Board of Directors of the Ipswich Town Football Club in England, FC Tucson in USL League One and FC Helsingør in Denmark. He is also the founder of Phoenix Rising Football Club, the USL Championship team. Mr. Johnson has roots in Rhode Island going back to his undergraduate education at Brown University and is excited to bring professional soccer and a $300 million private investment to the state.