The Rhode Island drought without a soccer team is just about to end. Construction of the stadium for the professional club starts soon. This is one of the conditions for participation in the second league tier.
Construction starts in autumn
Tidewater Stadium is to be part of a mixed-use complex in Pawtucket, the construction of which at the time of the presentation of plans in December 2019 was valued at $400 million. According to latest information, it will be less, i.e. $284 million, but the size of investments has also been reduced as a result of the pandemic crisis. Works will be carried out as a public-private partnership and the stadium itself is included in the first phase of the "Tidewater Landing" project.
One of the goals of this endeavor is to bring soccer to Pawtucket, making it the first professional team in Rhode Island. Initially, it seemed to be achieved in 2022, but the coronavirus pandemic has put plans on hold for a year, as the new ground is expected to be ready in the spring of 2023.
Works will start right after this year's Labor Day (September 6) and its general contractor is Dimeo Construction. This entity was hired in June by Fortuitous Partners, the developer of the stadium. The architectural office Odell in cooperation with JCJ Architecture is responsible for the design of the venue.
At this point, the construction site that once belonged to a manufactured gas plant and utility National Grid, is being prepared. Last winter, Pawtucket approved changes to the zoning of the football stadium and the "Tidewater Landing" project. Completing the last formalities before starting construction will happen soon.
Stadium's design has changed
Initially, the facility was intended to accommodate 7,500 people, but eventually it will seat 11,000 people. In addition, it is possible to expand it to 15,000 in the future.
The arena is to have four stands with the leading two-tier west stand, from which there will be a picturesque view of the riverfront. The rest of the stands will be single-level. In the original concept, the west and south stands were to be roofed, but these plans were abandoned.
In the stadium vision from 2019, we saw different lighting, namely 4 masts placed in the corners of the arena. Now there are 4 frames with floodlights and additionally two masts on the east and west sides. A rectangular screen will be situated at the top along the eastern stand. Previously, it was supposed to be on the north side and its shape was planned to be more square.
In the northern foreground of the venue, a public plaza is to be built where fans can gather before the games. On non-match days, farmers markets and art fairs may be held there. At the rear of the south stand there will be a multi-purpose building with 235 apartments, shops and restaurants facing the stadium and a 750-space parking garage.
The latter will not be ready when the arena is completed, but at a later date. The only car park available at the beginning of the stadium's operation is to have 128 spaces, meant mainly for the team, staff and VIPs. A pitch with artificial turf is planned that can also be used for other team games.
Author: Tomasz Sobura