US Major League Soccer (MLS) hopeful, North Carolina Football Club, has chosen its preferred location to build a new stadium and entertainment complex in Raleigh.
The club is now asking the State of North Carolina to have talks on entering into a public-private partnership to build the mixed-use community featuring an entertainment, sports and athletics venue that would be home to an MLS team.
In partnership with Kane Realty, the community hub will include conference space, office, hospitality and retail space, housing and public parking.
The project’s footprint is approximately 13 acres in the area currently known as the State Government Complex, located within the boundaries of Peace St., Salisbury St., Lane St. and the CSX Rail easement.
North Carolina Football Club owner, Steve Malik, said:
This is another important step in our pursuit of a Major League Soccer Franchise. Our vision is to make this facility a crown jewel for downtown Raleigh, providing a world-class sporting and social experience for fans and the community.
We are ready to engage all of the relevant constituents, including our community members, legislators, city, county and state officials, to address questions and concerns and bring this vision to life.
The preferred stadium location was publicly announced at a press conference in downtown Raleigh on July 19 during the visit of MLS president and deputy commissioner Mark Abbott.
The design of the venue has been created by world-renowned firm Gensler, a global leader in areas as diverse as stadium architecture, design, planning and consulting.
An economic development study, conducted by Economic Leadership LLC, has shown that the combination of bringing an MLS expansion team, building a soccer-specific stadium and establishing a mixed-use development for residents to live, work and play could generate significant benefits to the local economy and the state as a whole.
Over the course of the next 17 years, this public-private partnership is expected to provide a net present value of $2.8 billion to the state of North Carolina, generating $262 million annually in state economic activity and create or support almost 2,000 jobs.
In addition, it could create an additional $5.6 million in state taxpayer revenue each year.
In January, North Carolina Football Club was one of 12 markets to submit a bid to bring an MLS franchise to the Triangle.
Since then, the club has acquired the rights to the Western New York Flash of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL), moving the team to the Triangle and subsequently renaming the team North Carolina Courage.
The organisation also entered into an historic collaboration with Capital Area Soccer League (CASL) and Triangle Futbol Club Alliance (TFCA), resulting in the largest youth-to-pro soccer club in the United States. As part of this agreement, CASL and TFCA have rebranded as North Carolina FC Youth.
North Carolina Football Club is the largest youth-to-professional soccer organisation in the US. The club is comprised of a women’s First Division team, North Carolina Courage (NWSL), a men’s Second Division team, North Carolina FC (NASL), as well as a Premier Development League team, North Carolina FC U23 (USLPDL).