USA: Michigan to get new stadium in Grand Rapids as early as 2026?

source:; author: Mateusz Osmola

USA: Michigan to get new stadium in Grand Rapids as early as 2026? A project that the media have been speculating about for a year is finally starting to become more than just announcements backed up by unofficial information. We’ve been getting more and more details since December, but not everyone in Grand Rapids wants a new arena.


The first figures and information have been released

Deputy city manager Kate Berens presented Grand Rapids commissioners in December the information received from Grand Action 2.0 about the new facility the company plans to build in the metropolitan area.

The project, which involves not only Grand Action 2.0, but also its partners, the city and Kent County, will result in the construction of an 8,500-seat facility. According to information provided by Kate Berens, up to 164,000 tickets will be sold annually for the planned 17 games and 56 other events. The venue is to serve primarily a soccer team.

Across the country, major league soccer clubs play in soccer-specific and multipurpose stadiums with capacities upwards of 18,000 seats. If you’re interested in betting, check out a breakdown of each Michigan sportsbooks. Existing professional soccer teams in Michigan include the USL Championship’s Detroit City FC, who play at the 7,231-seat Keyworth Stadium in Hamtramck and USL League Two’s Flint City Bucks, who play at the 11,000-seat Atwood Stadium owned by Kettering University.

The commissioners, after reviewing the details compiled by Berens, signed a memorandum of understanding for the development of the future venue. The document also opens up the possibility of increasing taxes on the hospitality sector to fund the stadium.

Michigan stadium© Progressive AE Inc.

Not everyone believes in positive outcome

According to the deputy city manager, the expected impact on the region is $408 million over 30 years and 330 new jobs over the next 32 years, which will translate into $5.2 million in earnings for Grand Rapids residents.

Meanwhile, the location of the new facility is becoming increasingly certain - the site of the former Big Boy restaurant, located west of the US-131 road and near the YMCA of Grand Rapids building. Company representatives have made no secret of their interest in the site, but indicate that a final decision is pending. Meanwhile, the closure of the restaurant and the lack of information about another potential site are further arguments for the claim that a location in the western part of the city is already secure.

On January 10, Grand Action representatives met with neighbourhood groups to discuss the project's intentions. Residents left the meeting concerned about the lack of plans to build new car parks. However, the company believes that there will be enough surface parking spaces for both residents and visitors within 15 minutes of the site. Also at the meeting, executive director Kara Wood expressed confidence that a soccer team would be established, but did not specify what entity would undertake this.

Michigan stadium© Progressive AE Inc.

What is the vision for the stadium?

The facility is to be used primarily for soccer matches because, as Kate Berens herself stated: The quality and size of the stadium is one that is expected to support… the highest professional league that would be in existence in the state of Michigan. Nevertheless, it is likely that the arena will host other sports and college competitions.

According to available information, the stadium will not only be a venue for sports, but is also expected to attract the local community with a retail shop and restaurant. Grand Rapids 2.0 authorities argue that the construction of the stadium will be a catalyst for residential development in the immediate area.

What’s going to be the outcome?

Grand Action 2.0 authorities still believe that work on the site will begin in 2024, but for now there is still a lot of paperwork ahead of the company and authorities. Despite this, Grand Action Executive Director Kara Wood said in a statement, We remain optimistic that we will open the stadium in 2026.

Meanwhile, the West Side Corridor Improvement Authority has already expressed its support for the project. The next, conclusive step will be to submit a land use permit application to the Grand Rapids Planning Commission.

Michigan stadium© Progressive AE Inc.