The city of Albuquerque revealed its feasibility study for a new soccer stadium for New Mexico United. A consideration includes four proposed sites, estimated to cost between $65 million and $70 million.
CAA ICON, a world famous Denver-based consulting firm, was appointed to evaluate the best possible location and business potential for the venue for New Mexico United. Its assessment considered several factors including size, zoning, ownership and parking, according to the report.
Before revealing final recommendations, complex market research was taken. CAA ICON took into consideration many aspects related to the city, including demographics, event history, and the opinion of key stakeholders. They also dug deeply into statistics related to the USL attendance and competitive landscape of New Mexico United. Together with the report, preliminary stadium renderings were shown to the public.
An investment advisor pointed out specifically four sites, including the Railyards and the area near 12th Street and Interstate 40. A newly completed study has also identified the Coal/Broadway area and the Second Street/Iron area as “preferred sites” for the stadium with capacity from 10,000 to 12,000 seats. All of them present different opportunities for commercial development. What is necessary to underline, the city of Albuquerque is owner of a piece of each preferred site, but the total area needed at each location is mostly privately owned.
This study is a key part of our due diligence as we explore the possibility of a multi-use facility, Albuquerque chief operating officer Lawrence Rael said in a statement. He also added:
We’re glad to have the results of the study so we can discuss the findings with the community, make proper considerations, and initiate next steps.
Although the analysis was prepared with the greatest attention it did not include recommendations how the city could pay for a stadium. Asked what money the city currently has for the project, a spokeswoman cited New Mexico legislative appropriations totaling $7.5 million. Just to imagine how much more money is needed, the estimated project price tag – $64.6 million for Second/Iron and $70 million for Coal/Broadway – does not incorporate land acquisition costs.
Peter Trevisani, New Mexico United’s president and owner, explained the club’s contributions would likely be in the form of ongoing rental payments or development outside the stadium. He said:
The issue there is we’re not allowed to own any of the stadium – we’re just a tenant. The stadium would need to be owned by the city and since we can’t own the stadium, we’re not really in a position to buy a percentage of it like you might buy a percentage of a company.
The city has not taken any decision yet. The facility will be the permanent home of the New Mexico United, an American professional soccer team based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The team, founded in 2018, currently plays in the USL Championship, the second tier of American association soccer.
An executive summary of the multi-purpose soccer stadium feasibility study is available here.
Author: Karol Tatar