Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
Wizards clear political hurdle for stadium project
by Ridge Mahoney, December 14th, 2007 7AM
Subscribe to Soccer America Daily

MOST READ
TAGS:  mls

MOST COMMENTED

Political obstacles have delayed or tripped up several stadium projects in the 13-year history of MLS, but count Kansas City among the eventual winners. Banished to a minor-league baseball park for the next two seasons because of renovations at Arrowhead Stadium, if all goes as planned the Wizards will have their own home in 2010 and might never play at Arrowhead again.

The Kansas City, Missouri, City Council has approved 13-0 its portion of funding for the $949 million Three Trails Redevelopment project that will include a soccer stadium and as many as 12 soccer fields. Tax increment financing (TIF), generated by the sale of bonds, will provide 29 percent (about $273 million) of the funding for the project; majority investment will come from the private sector, including OnGoal, LLC, operator-investor of the Wizards.

Projected capacity for the stadium is 18,500. The stadium component of the project, which includes the fields and a 250-room hotel, will cost $140 million and is the first phase of a three-part project that consists of office space and retail space to be built on a site currently occupied by the shuttered Bannister Mall.

The site is adjacent to Interstate 435, between 87th Street and 95th Street in south Kansas City. Nearby communities, including Olathe and Lenexa, had expressed interest in the project but proposals to revitalize the 467-acre site received strong support from local residents and political leaders. Mayor Mark Funkhouser initially resisted the idea of using TIF revenues but relented after a few days of negotiations amid lobbying from council members to give it the green light.

OnGoal executives Neal Patterson and Cliff Illig, founders of the medical software firm Cerner, have moved some Cerner operations into an office complex near the site. The company employs more than 7,700 people and is based in the northern part of Kansas City. OnGoal bought the team in August, 2006, from Hunt Sports Group.

The late Lamar Hunt put the team up for sale in late 2003 and insisted he'd sell only to a local group committed to building a stadium in the area. His stadium projects in Columbus and Dallas ran into numerous political snags but eventually were completed.

One hurdle remains: approval at the state level, which is expected by February. Demolition of the existing mall buildings at Bannister Mall and Benjamin Plaza, the cost of which is estimated at $120 million, will begin once state approval is forthcoming.

As Hunt knew well, political wrangling is all part of the complex, often arduous process of building the game in America.



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Bruce Arena: 'There's no reason we can't qualify'    
No one knows January camp better than Bruce Arena. He's quick to point out that this ...
What They're Saying: Don Garber    
"I am confident [Miami] will be our 24th team. We'll continue to work hard on finalizing ...
Video Pick: Bruce Arena opens new chapter     
The post-Jurgen Klinsmann era of the U.S. national team began in Carson, California, when Bruce Arena ...
Roster: Top MLS draft picks, U-17 star named to U-20s    
Miles Robinson, Jonathan Lewis and Jeremy Ebobisse, taken with picks 2-3-4 in the MLS SuperDraft, were ...
What They're Saying: Riccardo Silva    
"My interest is in helping the game to grow in both Miami and nationally.  Just as ...
USWNT: Pinto, 16, among five players called up    
Five players from the U.S. under-23 national team that has been training in Carson, California, joined ...
U.S. Abroad: Arriola and Corona connect in Tijuana win    
Paul Arriola scored on a fierce volley and Joe Corona came on to score his first ...
MLS Expansion: Garber high on San Diego    
As a market with a strong pro soccer following -- for Mexico's Tijuana across the border ...
MLS SuperDraft: Complete Round 1 and Round 2 picks    
Minnesota United took UCLA's Abu Danladi with the No. 1 pick in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft. ...
MLS SuperDraft: What to look for on Friday    
MLS will hold the 2017 SuperDraft on Friday (3 p.m. PT) at the NSCAA Convention in ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives