RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – North Carolina Football Club owner Steve Malik announced Wednesday that the club’s preference for the location of an entertainment, sports and athletic complex is downtown Raleigh.
The stadium would be built on approximately 13 acres of land on what is currently known as the State Government Complex. The club has asked the State of North Carolina to “enter into a dialogue to facilitate a public-private partnership to build a mixed-use community” on the land.
The mixed-use community, built in partnership with Kane Realty, would include office, hospitality and retail space, along with conference space, housing and public parking, the club said. The area where the complex would be built is located within the boundaries of Peace Street, Salisbury Street, Lane Street and the North Carolina Railroad easement.
The stadium was designed by Gensler, a world-renowned architecture, design, planning and consulting firm based in California.
“This is another important step in our pursuit of a Major League Soccer Franchise,” said Malik. “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 stadium announcement was made with Major League Soccer president and deputy commissioner Mark Abbott in attendance. Abbott is in town Wednesday as part of a tour of the 12 city’s across the country who have made bids to get MLS teams in the next few years. Abbott was in Charlotte Tuesday.
The club also released statistics on the economic impact the complex and team would have over the next 17 years. The economic development study was conducted by the company Economic Leadership LLC.
According to the study, the “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,” according to a release from the team.
In addition to the press conference held in the morning, Oak City Supporters, a North Carolina F.C. supporters group, have organized a march from London Bridge Pub at 110 E. Hargett St. in downtown Raleigh that will end at City Market at 214 E. Martin St. for a rally organized by North Carolina F.C. The march begins at 4:30 p.m. and the rally starts at 5 p.m. and runs until 7 p.m.
Those attending the rally will get a free “919 to MLS” scarf, T-shirt and Lonerider Brewing Company will provide free beer for those 21 and older, according to the club’s website.
The announcement of which cities will get a team will happen before the end of the year, Abbott said.