Raleigh Stadium/Arena/Sports Discussions

Figured to consolidate the stadium/arena discussion in one location.

I recently had the opportunity to talk with some of the NC Legislature members about the NCFC MLS stadium proposal. Even though many seemed for it, they thought there were too many moving parts and just too complicated for it to actually happen. I started thinking about other possible locations, and of course the Cargill site came to mind, but also another one that has grown on me… the emerging Atlantic Ave warehouse district.

Access: With a few road extensions (some already planned), this is possibly the most connected location in the city. Six Forks, Wake Forest, Atlantic, Capital, Beltline all converge here. And its on a potential light rail line corridor.

Neighborhood: Dock 1053, Big Boss Brewery, Raleigh Iron Works redevelopment, but then immediately adjacent are non-descript 1 story buildings for the potential to expand the district with more density and uses.
Iron Works Rendering:

Stadium: Came across this rendering of AFC Wimbledon’s proposed stadium, seating capacity up to 20k and incorporating residential development. If NCFC gets the MLS franchise; 20,000 seats, if they stay in USL, maybe cap it at 15,000?


This fits in perfectly with that area. The Six Forks extension, plus however they re-design Capital, would really make or break something like this but as far as the design goes, I really like it! The truth is, DTR is not a great place for a major event venue right now (anything larger than the convention center or Red Hat). This is still a car-oriented city, and the only freeway access to DTR is from Saunders and Capital…is that enough to funnel 20-30k in and out for major events? It might be tough, even with a commuter rail doing some of the work. And you could argue downtown doesn’t need a real catalyst for development like a stadium right now…it’s doing fine on its own. On the other hand, building density in that Six Forks/Wake Forest/Capital area (Midtown if you will lol) and putting a major sporting venue there would be a much better use of land, and really spur growth in that entire corridor all the way up to North Hills.


I really like how you kept Big Boss from being caught up in the demolition.


Very interesting! I dont think I’ve seen this area really looked at for a stadium.

Still like Cargill because of it’s access to the south loop of 40. This makes it a pretty easy shot from Chapel Hill/Durham and really is where density is going to start building up once the approved 540 extension is done. The Yates Mill area and Garner are going to BOOM once that is connected.

So, just to confirm, are you saying that “they” said that this idea/site proposed by Steve Malik is essentially DOA?

Has to be downtown, urban location.
Cargill is perfect.

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Did not talk with the decision makers directly (Republican NCGA leaders). Just got the sense from others (central Raleigh Democrats) that are very for it, but that it seems like a long shot. And especially with the political climate we’re in.

Also, Nashville and Cincinnati got the first 2 MLS expansion slots, so only 2 spots left with the widely considered leading candidates Sacramento & Phoenix, with Detroit as a third. I imagine a Raleigh HQ2 Amazon announcement would go a long ways to reinforcing Raleigh as a ‘big-city’ and serious candidate. But without more progress on the stadium they will be passed over. The Peace St land just has too long of a timeframe to move forward.


To many moving parts, what an excuse/copout, getcit done, NC Legislature is pathetic, slow and has no vision, to many dollars exchanging hands under table.
Get it done, sell the state property to someone who wants to move Raleigh forward!!!
Not a soccer fan, but love the downtown Raleigh rendering and plan.

Does mixed use, medium-density, pedestrian-oriented, walkable district centered around 2 light rail stops count as urban? I’d say so.

I think Raleigh could have multiple pockets of urban areas focused around transit stops.


@Mike. Your proposed stadium location is intriguing. Thanks for all the time you clearly put into getting this post together. Not sure if you are aware but there is already a future development proposal in place on this location. Grubb Ventures is looking to do something along the lines Dock 1053 across the street.



Oops. I can see now that I wasn’t thinking about your proposed location correctly. My bad. Hopefully link for iron works location is helpful

Yes, would be across Wicker Dr. from the Iron Works. Check out more info here: http://www.grubbventures.com/projects/raleigh-ironworks/

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Man this is the first I’m hearing about this Iron Works project. Very cool!

Wow cool! we need more of this

What might be the timeline?

@mike Thanks for sharing this! This seems like a really intriguing location for a stadium, and one that I had never really thought about. You’ve clearly put a lot of thought into this. :slight_smile:

This definitely strikes me as a better location for a stadium than the area just south of Peace Street, and based on what I’ve heard, I think your sources are absolutely right–I don’t think it’s going to happen on that site anyway.

I think you’ve got a legitimately good idea here Mike. Grubb is marketing their project as part of an ‘extended downtown’, at least in vibe if not in form as well. It’s an interesting connecting point for Mordecai’s and Five Point’s greater spree’s of influence if some of those road projects come along with it. The Atlantic Ave bridge desperately needs pedestrian access on either approach…it has a sidewalk itself, but nothing leading up from either direction. Do the Person St extension/Capital Blvd consolidation, drop Whitaker Mill into the Grubb project and finally punch Six Forks through to Capital and it’s no longer an inaccessible void.


Mark, great suggestion on 6 forks.

It was on an early 2000’s road master plan for the City. It had Hodges hooking north to connect to the extended Six Forks. I want to say I’ve seen an updated master plan still reflecting that connection but am not 100% sure.
Edit: Yes it’s still in there
Edit 2: There are other relevant road improvements such as Whitaker wrapped up to Six Forks (as seen on Grubb’s site plan too) and some apparent toying with West St north of Wade.

I personally prefer the Peace location. A. The Peace location Looks Better B. The Peace location has More walkability to the core of Raleigh C. Building residential buildings around it would be great… but still feel like it would be similar to the PNC Arena location as far as out on it’s own.


Any new news?
Only 5 months till 2 final teams selected.
Watch these pathetic state leaders blow this opportunity, sell the state owned land to the soccer owner for a discount!!!
State does nothing with land for decades, example, that ugly parking deck and few structures across from Seaboard!!
Sell the state property now and get out of the way of progress.