FC Lahti was established in 1996, as the result of a merger between two previous rivals from the city, FC Kuusysi and Reipas Lahti. Both sides suffered financial difficulties and the intention was to create a single team, who would unite the city and be able to challenge for major honours. Since the new club's foundation, Lahti have enjoyed some success, although they have not yet been able to match the standards set by the previously existing clubs. They are nicknamed 'The Black Drones'.
Prior to the formation of FC Lahti, FC Kuusysi enjoyed tremendous success within Finland, winning five league championships, with those title wins coming in 1982, 1984, 1986, 1989 and 1991. Likewise, Reipas Lahti also enjoyed major success, winning three league titles and seven Finnish Cups, with all of those trophies coming during the 1960s and 1970s.
Although the combined club has not yet achieved the same level of success, they have picked up major honours in the form of the Finnish League Cup, which they won in both 2007 and 2013. Their highest finish in the Veikkausliiga was a 3rd place finish, earned in the 2008 season. As a result of that campaign, FC Lahti made their debut in the UEFA Europa League for the 2009-10 edition of the competition.
Since the creation of the combined team, some of the notable players to play for the club have included Petri Pasanen, Kari Arkivuo, Tuomas Haapala, Njazi Kuqi and Jari Litmanen. All five players also represented the Finland national team during their careers.
The team's home matches are held at Lahti Stadium, which first opened to the public back in 1981. The venue is sometimes also known as Skiing Stadium, because it hosts major skiing events during the winter months. It was renovated in 2003 and is able to hold a maximum of 14,500 spectators for football matches.