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Plans for professional soccer stadium get rolled out to Portland officers Tuesday

A bunch searching for to deliver skilled soccer to Portland will formally current proposals for potential stadium websites to metropolis officers on Tuesday.

The group, USL to Portland, will probably be asking Portland’s Housing and Financial Growth Committee to “evaluation, talk about, and supply path,” on their outlines for having a soccer stadium to accommodate a USL League One franchise at both the Preble Road Area website close to Again Cove or at a renovated Fitzpatrick Stadium.

“We have now been working behind the scenes with metropolis employees for greater than a yr to guage the 2 stadium choices introduced,” the group states in its formal proposal. “We are actually searching for path from the Metropolis Council and hope to start negotiations with metropolis employees for the renovation and lease of one of many two proposed stadium places.”

The group has recognized two websites for constructing a soccer-specific stadium, which additionally may very well be used to host concert events and different occasions. One is on the Preble Road Area, which is flanked by Again Cove and Interstate 295. That website is now underneath development for a stormwater mission.

The second website requires a big rehabilitation of Fitzpatrick Stadium that would come with eradicating the out of doors observe to permit widening of the bogus floor discipline to fulfill requirements set by the United Soccer League, which oversees USL League One.

In accordance with USL to Portland, both mission would have an total value of $10 million to $12 million. Technique of funding the initiatives usually are not specified, aside from noting that the soccer group can be seeking to set up long-term lease or rental agreements with town.

Gabe Hoffman-Johnson, the founder and president of USL to Portland, declined an interview request Monday. A spokesperson for the group mentioned it could wait to remark till after Tuesday’s Housing and Financial Growth Committee assembly.

“We wish to honor the general public course of,” Diana Nelson mentioned. “We don’t wish to touch upon the 2 places previous to having elected officers evaluation it first.”

USL League One is the third tier {of professional} soccer in North America, beneath Main League Soccer, and the USL Championship league. Launched in 2019 with 10 groups, the league expanded to 12 groups for 2021, with an everyday season schedule that runs from Might by means of the top of October. In 2020, United Soccer League officers expressed help for Portland as an growth website, pending having a stadium. In accordance with the USL to Portland’s proposal doc, the league has given Portland’s possession group “official approval as an growth market,” contingent upon stadium improvement.

The league has acknowledged it wish to have 30 or extra franchises working when america hosts the World Cup in 2026.

The native possession group, which incorporates Portland-based developer Jonathan Culley and his spouse, Catherine Culley, notes in its deliberate presentation that the group did a “prolonged evaluation of potential stadium places.”

The Preble Road Area would permit for a stadium constructed particularly for soccer, providing an iconic view of Again Cove. The brand new construction would offer town with further house to host highschool, membership and grownup athletics, concert events, beer festivals, and state and collegiate soccer championships. The soccer group is proposing a “low-cost land lease” with town to make use of the property.

However the location may current zoning, environmental and compliance difficulties. The USL to Portland group mentioned three separate technical feasibility research it had finished confirmed the positioning “whereas difficult … is appropriate with coordinated effort between metropolis and soccer improvement workforce.”

Fitzpatrick Stadium’s 6,000-seat capability simply meets the USL’s requirement of a facility having at the least 3,500 seats. However the present synthetic floor is simply too slim. USL requires a 70-yard by 110-yard pitch. Additionally, the out of doors observe decreases the intimacy issue of getting followers close to the motion.

The proposal requires eliminating the present observe, which was put in in 2015 on the identical time the bogus floor discipline was changed, and constructing a brand new observe at both Payson Park or Dougherty Area.

The USL to Portland group’s proposal for Fitzpatrick requires a “rental settlement” that might “facilitate redevelopment of Fitzpatrick Stadium. The mission would improve the prevailing facility, and preserve Portland Colleges and public entry.”

Shifting the observe, and the related value, is the obvious obstacle to utilizing Fitzpatrick. As well as, locker rooms (highschool soccer groups use amenities within the Portland Expo) and fashionable concessions and media amenities can be required.

Separate from its quest to discover a stadium website, USL to Portland has been working to construct numerous and broad group help. It touts having over 4,100 followers throughout numerous social media platforms. An impartial supporters group known as Dirigo Union additionally has fashioned.

The Housing and Financial Growth Committee assembly is scheduled for five:30 p.m. Tuesday.


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