Soccer attendance seems to be really be dependent on stadium size. No wonder purpose built MLS stadiums with capacity of 18,000 max out at 18,000 while Atlanta and Charlotte are cranking in 30,000+ as those teams play in NFL facilities.
Bigger in this case does mean better (to a point).
Let’s be honest, for this stadium to thrive, it needs to not be soccer-based. Some tenants can still be soccer teams, but it needs to be thought up in mind of hosting a variety of events and the capacity should reflect that. If they’re designing for soccer, yeah 20k is right. If they’re designing for football or concerts, 60k is a good amount. If they’re designing to host multiple conventions, a larger field would be best.
There’s several disadvantages to C-F however. The stadium is 60 years old and would need a massive renovation to do so. The bowl is also one of the tightest in America, making it less suitable for events, and isn’t set up in mind of hosting soccer at all in a permanent format. State is also the regulator and has the authority to deny events. NCSU is likely to refuse to host frequent events knowing how the field turned out after the U2 concert in 2011 and the stadium series this year
Not listed but worth mentioning are the international stadiums like Wembley in London.
My dream is for the US Soccer to be based in Cary and they start to think they want their own soccer only international stadium. Based on no background but why wouldn’t you want a permanent stadium that you can make your own instead of playing games in random football stadiums?
Win for Raleigh too because the vast majority of every game day will be people coming in for the game. You easily would have more tourism/hotel rooms/etc. than an MLS team would provide for about a quarter of the games.
This article feels like pablum so I’ll try to summarize to save a click.
Vegas is given insane odds (1:5) because they have the potential owners (the principals behind the EPL’s Ashton Villa), they have the site, and one of those owners (a VC bro) is an investor in Brightline and the site is along the ROW for the LA-LV Brightline. Seriously, the justification comes off as vaporware because everyone forgets that Vegas acts a LOT bigger than its actual size and the base they’re working with is not much more than here. That plus finding a temp venue will be fun since there’s nothing size wise between Cashman Field (USL Lights/XFL Vipers) and Allegiant Stadium (Raiders/UNLV) and there’s no way MLS is getting into Allegiant without either paying up or giving the Raiders an ownership stake.
San Diego is even and they have a stadium (Snapdragon Stadium at San Diego State on the old Murph/Qualcomm site), however they don’t mention that San Diego State may have veto power over other tenants which might have played a role in the XFL avoiding San Diego. Also, the Padres overlap wouldn’t help given they’re the only team in town and are sure spending like it.
Sacramento is at 10:1 and I’ll just quote it here. “The mechanisms used to plan a potential downtown MLS stadium are still in place. Insiders think the Bay Area is more than capable of hosting two MLS teams, and adding Sacramento to San Jose would place two teams at each end of the market.” Their only problem is finding an owner and can you bring a Vivek Ranadive to MLS to join the Kings and River Cats?
Phoenix was 12:1, good USL support but the issue is the stadium and that you’d have to build new but not covered plus there’s no sweet spot venue. Using Sun Devil Stadium would be headaches with ASU, State Farm Stadium is just too far away for a startup.
Indianapolis, at 15:1, somehow “isn’t a glamorous market, but it’s one of those mid-sized markets where MLS soccer could thrive.” Mind you, they’re as close to Cincinnati as Columbus is and they’d have Columbus and Chicago under 200 miles away. Once again, it feels like the Midwest is held to totally different standards than the South.
Tampa is at 20:1, hamstrung by the Rays ballpark situation but somehow when that gets settled it’d open up a site either in Tampa proper or at the Tropicana Field site in St. Pete. Never mind that to this point the I-4 Central Florida corridor has been seen as one market and that Orlando SC already exists or that Tampa had MLS and it went under which is why Raymond James Stadium is a non-option
Detroit is at 25:1 because size, stadium, and little else. Never mind that if they couldn’t get a deal for Ford Field or Comerica Park it would be a disaster.
The justification for Raleigh at 50:1: “Local soccer fans are likely to renew calls for MLS in Raleigh, even if the current plan is for a new USL stadium anchoring downtown development.”
I’m amazed that Pittsburgh was not on this list given their good USL support, general fan malaise with the Pirates the last 3 decades, that they’d have instant rivalries with Philadelphia, Columbus, and Cincinnati, and that they’re in the Midwest and are held to a different standard than the south. It feels like Raleigh was late to the party and gets punished for it.