Iron District Stadium

Capacity8 000
Country United States of America
CategoryDesign awaiting implementation
Cost$ 160 M
Design Kahler Slater, JLG Architects


Iron District Stadium – design description

How did the design for a new soccer stadium in Milwaukee develop?

In May 2022, the first plans for a new, soccer-specific stadium in Milwaukee were made public. The facility is to be built for a new team to enter the USL Championship, the second highest ranked (after MLS) football competition in the United States. The venture is a joint initiative between Kacmarcik Enterprises and Bear Development.

Talks to establish a new team had been ongoing for several years. Kacmarcik Enterprises already has one soccer club in Wisconsin's  capital, Madison (Forward Madison FC), playing in USL League One, and is now set to create a new team in the state's largest city, Milwaukee. The formation of the team will mark the return of professional soccer to Milwaukee after more than two decades (the previous team, the Milwaukee Rampage, played its last season in the A-League in 2002).

When will Milwaukee's new stadium be built?

On October 19, 2022, it was announced that the new team will be licensed to play in the USL Championship from the 2025 season onwards. Construction of the new stadium is expected to begin in autumn 2022 with demolition of the old hotel and site clearance. Completion is scheduled for spring 2024.

Where will Milwaukee's new stadium be built?

The stadium will be built in the Westown neighborhood, very close to the city center, right next to a major motorway interchange. Milwaukee's main train and bus station is also nearby. The purchase of the 11-acre site for a price of $12.3 million was finalized in June 2022.

The land, mostly undeveloped, was previously owned by Marquette University. The university had intended to build a large research center here, in conjunction with Aurora Health Care, but after the partner withdrew, the investment was not implemented. In 2020, the local authority allowed the construction of commercial facilities on the site.

What will the new stadium in Milwaukee be like?

The design for the new stadium was created by Kahler Slater, in collaboration with JLG Architects. The facility is to have a soccer-specific, rectangular layout, with covered stands situated around the playing field. The capacity of the arena will be 8,000 spectators and the pitch in the stadium will be provided with artificial turf.

The stands along the pitch will be divided into two tiers, with a much larger upper tier partially overlapping the lower sections. The stand behind the east goal will be much lower than the others, and will feature a large LED screen.

An important part of the whole project will be a tall building integrated into the stadium, which will stand behind the stand behind the west gate. The building will include 140 hotel rooms with views of the pitch or the city center and Lake Michigan, 99 city-subsidized residential units, as well as retail and commercial space. A concert hall for 3,500 spectators will be built immediately behind the building. The entire project, dubbed Iron District MKE, is expected to cost $160 million to complete.

Who will the Iron District Stadium serve?

In addition to the new team playing in the USL Championship (its name is yet to be determined), the facility will be used by both male and female soccer teams as well as the Marquette Golden Eagles lacrosse team (the name of Marquette University's sports teams, whose campus is located nearby). The stadium is also intended to serve the local community and be used for a variety of events.



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