Raleigh's MLS bid organizers unveil downtown stadium plans

20 July 2017

The Triangle's bid for an MLS team is seeking a downtown Raleigh stadium, entrepreneur Steve Malik announced Wednesday morning.

"This community needs an entertainment complex downtown," Malik said. The stadium would be on the north end of downtown Raleigh, where Capital Boulevard and Peace Street meet. "It will be a crown jewel for the community," he said.

Malik said the downtown location is perfect for millennials, a key demographic for MLS. "Soccer is the sport for millennials," Malik said.

The MLS plans to add four more franchises, announcing two this year and two after that. Charlotte is among the other cities seeking a team, which will include a franchise fee of $150 million.

Malik said the stadium is expected to cost $150 million, but he said the final cost would likely be more than that.

MLS President Mark Abbott was at the news conference Wednesday morning. "It's really exciting for me to see this vision unveiled," he said. He said the MLS has been successful with stadiums located in downtown locations.

Abbott said MLS is looking to make a decision on the next two teams by the end of this year. As for the paying for the team, Malik said the group was looking for investors and confident it would attract the top-tier investment syndicate needed for the project.

Billie Redmond of TradeMark Properties said the soccer group has had positive conversations with state officials and was confident a deal could be reached to put a stadium on the land.