Raleigh Stadium/Arena/Sports Discussions


Do I cry today or tomorrow???
Both :cry::cry::cry:

Good for Austin? I seem to be saying that a lot lately…sigh :pensive::confused:


Austin was awarded the 27th franchise this week. Raleigh?..crickets. Austin (nor Nashville for that matter), weren’t even on the radar screen and the ‘BOOM’ they come out of nowhere and land franchises…and Raleigh continues to plod along


On the contrary, I think Nashville was always one of the top contenders for an MLS team.


Good point. Also the MLB rumours have been warming for Nashville (I doubt they can support that - MLS is a better fit).

But Austin has no pro sports where as Raleigh had an NHL franchise since the '90’s. (1997?). Also Raleigh is the only city in NC with a pro national championship.

Now… where does our downtown stadium go?


Interesting… Maybe will use some taxpayer money after all…


I think the only way I want county taxpayer funds going towards this is if it’s an expansion of the convention center…maybe the stadium has a retractable roof that can be closed for exhibitions/concerts and opened for sporting events. I don’t think any other soccer-specific stadiums have one at this time, but since the stands are already covered it shouldn’t be too much additional cost. I wonder if you could fit it on the footprint of Red Hat and the block immediately south if you close Lenoir St.


I don’t think that “you” or “I” get a choice…
I say that as the money is already available (or will be) from the existing tax…


I know, but I’m allowed to have an opinion about how the tax is spent


Yes the tax money is not coming from property taxes. It is coming from the Hotel Occupancy and Prepared Food and Beverages taxes which was created exactly for things like this. With that said I would hope that Wake County and Raleigh would be diligent it their decision making to ensure the best of outcomes for the use of those funds. If the soccer stadium is built that means that other things are not going to be built that could be better than a stadium.


Disclaimer: For the record, I’m for us getting MLS, but I’m about to write a longer post with some questions and concerns I have.

I understand Raleigh is one of 8-10 cities vying for this final MLS slot. In most articles, I’ve seen that we are like 5th or 6th on the list. Some cities have stadiums or stadium financing approved and in place (in cities with a much larger population base).

I know people don’t like having this conversation, but:

what happens if Raleigh doesn’t get that final slot?

Do they just hope MLS decides to change their mind and add more teams? Would they actually consider building the stadium without having been granted a franchise?

I’ve read all the article and have tried to understand their plan with this, but I haven’t found clear answers.

I also want to understand what they are hoping this stadium does for our area.

I know getting caught up in getting a pro franchise can be exciting, but I hope that excitement doesn’t put blinders on us (especially if they are banking on tax dollars to fund this)

MLS ‘per-game’ attendance is actually pretty good (I think better than NBA and NHL, but not as good as MLB or NFL), however, MLS teams only play 17 homes game per season.

NFL plays 8 home games but averages 68,400 per game.
MLB plays 81 home games and averages 28,794 per game.
NBA plays 41 home games and averages 17,987 per game.
NHL plays 41 home games and averages 17,446 per game.

MLS plays 17 home games and averages 21,873 per game.

The point is, what is the plan for this stadium the other 348 days of the year? With PNC grabbing large entertainment acts, and Red Hat Amphitheater (and soon the Dix Amphitheater getting those mid-large acts). What would activate this stadium the rest of the time that would help it generate the revenue that would make sense to take up a large swath of DT property and dip into our tax money?

I know this won’t be a popular post with some people but these are honest questions I have which I have not heard answers to, When you start talking about using public funds, I personally think these answers are necessary.


No, those are really good questions. I don’t think this gets built without a firm commitment from MLS in hand. Building stadiums on spec is almost always a mistake, because by the time you find a tenant, the stadium is outdated. That’s the case with Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay…it was built for a 1990 baseball team and then by the time they got a team in 1998, Camden Yards changed the game in MLB.

As for event days, there’s the Courage (women’s team), so they would use the stadium. Then there are high school and college tournaments that would probably use the stadium too. I could see it as a venue for Hopscotch’s major acts, but probably not too much more in the way of concerts. That’s why I think attaching it to the convention center is the only way to make it viable.


I’d love to know what their “alternative locations” in the greater downtown area are bc I think it will be a hoot to see how they define greater downtown area.
The economic impact numbers are downright laughable. I imagine they’re double or triple dipping on things to come up with some of those numbers.


Based on # of home games and avg. attendance per game numbers. Here are your total attendance averages per team, per season. I think when you talk about public financing of a stadium, these are important numbers.

I think some of you may find this interesting.

MLB: 2,332,314
NBA: 737,468
NHL: 715,286
NFL: 547,200
MLS: 371,841

Now, those are average ticketed attendees per season per team (per sport). But for the city, they are collecting a tax from each ticket purchase, they are collecting room/occupancy tax for every one of those people who stay in the city, they are collecting taxes on food and drink from those people who are hitting DT before/after games.

As much as people want to talk about the slightly declining attendance with MLB, they are the golden goose for a city. Their 81 home games, their 3 game series setup, and their large per game attendance #'s would make this city a killing and be well worth the city ponying up tax dollar for. Baseball fields can also accommodate football (college games, bowl games, Shaw Football home games, annual Panthers game) and soccer set-ups (occasional NCFC match, occasional Courage/College matches), other baseball game could be played there ( NC State/USA baseball, etc), along with concerts/events.


If it’s really, really close to DTR center then it could be used as alternative locations for heavily attended events like Brewgaloo. The backfield of the San Diego Padres stadium in Downtown San Diego is open to the public as a park when there’s no games.


Yeah, there are a lot of uses they could come up with. But i’m asking more about major revenue generating uses that would justify building a full on stadium using a large chunk of public funds (especially in DTR).

For it to really make sense I’m feeling like you’d have to have it activated 1/3 or the year (120 days) with a major revenue generating event.

Is that possible if your main tenants are only using it 17 days per year and you have 3 other legitimate contending concert venues (Red Hat, PNC, Walnut Creek) within a few miles?

Look at the PNC event schedule. They are activating that place 12 time in February and 17 times in March.


I think a downtown stadium instantly pulls RedHat out of the picture once it comes on-line otherwise the stadium isn’t going to have enough programming plus it’s not possible for the new stadium to be a worse music venue. Other than the prison I don’t see a good landing spot for a downtown stadium/arena outside of the Peace proposal which isn’t idea but would rid us of the Archdale building blight.

I still think the best place for a sports/entertainment district is a transit connected PNC Arena. There’s plenty of land around there and it doesn’t have the ingress/egress problems that any downtown venue is going to have, it also doesn’t have to overcome potential NIMBY hurdles.

Downtown, as evidenced by the numbers herein https://abc11.com/business/downtown-raleigh-development-boasts-$2-billion-worth-of-investments/5113274/, is doing quite well drawing people in without an arena or stadium and it’s only going to get better as more people and businesses move downtown.


@JosABanks That would also likely then kill the Dix Amphitheater proposal (which I feel is of the most publicly popular pieces of the new park proposal.)

I thought that was going to be where RedHat acts basically transition to. (they had a similar capacity) and it would open up the current RedHat land to become Convention Center’s phase 2.

But, my point is, there is so much to talk about as a city and a lot more transparency necessary from the NCFC group if they are going to start talking about using public money.


I think the Dix Amphitheater could still be viable as a place for musical acts during festivals in the park or maybe even as a theater in the park. Imagine watching The Tempest during a hurricane… or maybe not…


The acts playing Red Hat wouldn’t be playing a stadium so they would barely compete, if at all. Also, stadium acoustics generally suck so it may actually be a worse venue.


The soccer stadium would be so small (22k) that its essentially an outdoor arena, it’s not a like an NFL stadium so I could see many of the same acts from RedHat playing in a venue of that size.
If the stadium isn’t able to absorb the acts from RedHat then it’s not going to be viable. There will be no way to fill out the calendar.