Bengaluru Football Club is an Indian professional football club based in Bengaluru, Karnataka. The club participates in the I-League, India's top-tier football league. It is the first ever club to have won the I-League in its debut season. The team is currently owned by Mumbai-based company, JSW Group and its managing director is Sajjan Jindal.The club's home ground is the 40,000 seater Kanteerava Stadium.
Around the beginning of January 2013, word managed to get out that the Mumbai Tigers (then Dodsal FC) had failed to register on time for the upcoming 2013 I-League 2nd Division campaign and that they could instead get direct-entry into the I-League, India's top-tier football league, through a cash payment to the All India Football Federation, the main football association for the sport in India, and a promise to create a stadium within Mumbai, Maharashtra by 2017. Later that month on 12 January it was announced that the All India Football Federation had called for an executive meeting on the 15th to discuss the proposal of handing select companies direct-spots into the 2013–14 I-League. This news came following the uncertainly over the participation of institutional clubs, Air India FC and ONGC and the temporarily banned side Mohun Bagan for the 2013–14 season.
On 15 January 2013 it was officially announced that during the AIFF meeting that, in an effort to make the league more "pan-Indian", the federation would be accepting bids from corporate groups for two new direct-entry clubs for the 2013–14 season. The bidding companies would have to guarantee a team that would play outside both Kolkata and Goa and that would also commit to building-up new infrastructure. The winning bids would be announced in March and they will also be replacements for the institutional clubs Air India and ONGC.
On 8 March 2013 it was reported that the JSW Group were interested in bidding for an automatic place in the I-League after contemplating whether to create one in the past in Bengaluru. It was also reported that AR Khaleel, a senior official with the AIFF, had suggested that Bengaluru could be a host venue for the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, if India wins the hosting rights, and that the corporate team could help build up infrastructure and create a world-class stadium by 2017 in the city. On 15 May 2013 it was announced that the All India Football Federation had officially received three-bids for the two direct-entry spots. The bids came from JSW Group, Dodsal Group, and a consortium from Kerala.
Finally, on 28 May 2013, it was officially announced that JSW Group had won the franchise rights to the direct-club in Bengaluru and that it would be spearheaded by the companies sports branch, JSW Sports. The team would play all home games in Bengaluru while setting up a youth academy there. They would also try to make better football infrastructure for the city. Then on 20 July 2013, almost two months after winning the bid for a team, JSW launched the team officially as Bengaluru Football Club by throwing a mega-electric event at the Bangalore Football Stadium, which would be announced as the home for Bengaluru FC during the season. Along with the club name and stadium, the club crest and colours were also unveiled as well as the team's home kit for the season and the squad.
Then, in January 2014, the club participated in their first ever senior domestic cup tournament when they took part in the 2013–14 Indian Federation Cup. The team was placed in Group B along with East Bengal, Rangdajied United, and Sporting Goa. The club's first match of the tournament occurred on 15 January 2014 against Sporting Goa at the Malappuram District Sports Complex Stadium in which the team won the match by a scoreline of 5–3. However, that would turn out to be Bengaluru FC's only victory of the tournament as they would go on to draw and lose their next matches, thus knocking them out.
On 21 April 2014, the club beat Dempo FC 4–2 in a thrilling encounter to claim the I-League and also the club's first trophy.
Unveiled during the 21 July JSW launch, the crest features the Bangalore Palace coloured in white in order to symbolize "victory" from when the Wodeyars won the palace back. The pride, resilience, and pride of the people of Bengaluru is represented by a picture of a blue Gandaberunda - a mythical two headed bird that is said to possess magical might - in the middle of the crest. The use of the Gandaberunda is from the coat of arms for the state of Karnataka and is the symbol of the state.
Bengaluru FC plays all its matches at the Bangalore Football Stadium which is located at the heart of the city. The West stand is the largest and can accommodate maximum number of people. The West stand also houses the VIP boxes during I-League and other major matches. During the launch of the club it was announced that the team would play at the Bangalore Football Stadium for the 2013–14 I-League season. The Bangalore Football Stadium is a 15,000 capacity football stadium which uses astroturf. For the 2014–15 season the club will play their matches at the 40,000 capacity Sree Kanteerava Stadium