What was once a junkyard less than two miles from Wayne State is now the Detroit Soccer District.
Located at 5157 Stanton St., just north of campus, DSD is a new sports facility that houses a 6,000-square-foot outdoor artificial turf field and indoor volleyball courts with plans to add indoor handball and basketball courts.
Joesph de Verteuil, DSD's founder, said he came up with the idea for the facility in 2015, and put the idea to paper in 2016.
"I noticed that there wasn't soccer in Detroit," Verteuil said. "I spent so much time in Detroit and for me to go outside of [the city] to play soccer I thought was crazy because I thought Detroit really had the potential to house everything within [city limits], including soccer."
Verteuil graduated from WSU in 2017 with a master's degree in business administration and a concentration in finance. He also played on the club soccer team as a student. After graduation, he worked as a financial analyst before leaving his job to focus on DSD.
Membership plans for DSD start at $10 a month with a $40 signup fee. Verteuil hopes to attract students to the facility by housing the WSU club soccer team, engaging with intramural sports and the recreational center to host leagues at the facility.
Matt Kraydich, one of the team captains for the WSU club soccer team and a WSU pre-physical therapy student, said the team is evaluating DSD as a place to train.
"The turf field that they have is very closed spaced and if we were going to train there, it'd be good for us because we could work on our quick play in a small space," Kraydich said. "[The turf] is very even so if we have games that are away and they're on turf, we can go practice there and get ready for our games that way."
The club team currently trains at the practice football field behind Tom Adams Field, which also serves as their home field for games during the season.
Vaibhav Arora, a WSU graduate student in the Electric-drive Vehicle Engineering program, plays soccer about two times a week with friends that plan matches through a group chat.
Arora said the group often faces the challenge of finding a well-maintained place to play and where they play the grass is too long, there are holes in the ground and the playing field isn't level.
"We have to be diplomatic how we set up our goals especially when there are other people playing frisbee or baseball," said Arora. "And in that respect, a dedicated well-maintained soccer space is definitely worth seeking."
Arora's group, who often plays on the practice football field, has discussed playing at DSD.
"When it comes to playing soccer, everyone is ready to chip in $10 to $15 individually to rent a space sometimes," said Arora. "We have regularly rented indoor soccer turfs in the winters."
Arora added that the $100 hourly rental rate at DSD is cheaper than the $150 to $200 they have spent at other indoor facilities in the past.
Adult soccer leagues at DSD are held Monday through Thursday from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. and adult volleyball leagues are held on Fridays from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. For more information, visit DSD's website.
Jack Filbrandt is a staff writer for The South End. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.