10,000-seat OKC soccer stadium proposed for MAPS 4

Wednesday, Mar 06, 2019

A 10,000-seat multi-purpose arena is being pitched to be part of a MAPS 4 ballot, with backers including the owners of the Energy FC.

The proposal was submitted Thursday to Mayor David Holt and suggests the stadium would be built in the downtown area with an estimated cost of $65 million to $80 million for construction and $6 million to $12 million for site acquisition.

The group also proposes the city work with Fields and Futures — a nonprofit founded by OKC Energy FC Partner Tim McLaughlin, which is dedicated to keeping youth in school by refurbishing athletic programs and facilities in Oklahoma City public schools — to add up to 10 soccer fields to Wheeler Park to be used for tournaments that attract visitors to our region, youth development, league play, and engagement events between professional athletes and the community.

“I’ve witnessed soccer fields transform communities by inspiring young athletes and bringing neighbors together over a common interest,” McLaughlin said. “MAPS 4 is Oklahoma City’s chance to do this on a major scale.”

The Energy is in its sixth season, five of which have been at Taft Stadium in northwest Oklahoma City.

The proposed stadium would be designed for expansion if Oklahoma City was given a shot at Major League Soccer status and could accommodate U.S. Rugby, Major League Lacrosse, state football championships, concerts and special events.

“It fits with where we are at with the USL,” said Bob Funk Jr., co-owner of the Energy FC. “We would make it expandable so that we can do a phase two if or when we are ready to make it to MLS. If we build a 10,000-seat stadium, it sends a message we are serious about professional soccer. If we don’t, that makes it that much more difficult.”

Funk said the Energy experienced a leveling out in attendance that was typical of franchises in their fifth year and that season ticket sales are resurging and attendance is steady. He also acknowledged the team briefly considered a proposal by the developers of Chisholm Creek to build a temporary stadium in the northwest Oklahoma City development, but no such move remains under consideration.



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