Union Omaha looking to build new soccer stadium
The team currently plays in Werner Park, a baseball stadium
OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Omaha’s professional soccer team is hoping to build a new stadium downtown and a bill in the Nebraska Legislature could help them pay for it.
For the last few years, Union Omaha has been looking to build its own stadium.
“You know Union Omaha right now is playing in a baseball stadium,” said Union Omaha President Martie Cordaro.
Cordaro says Werner Park has been a great home-field advantage.
“From the soccer perspective, Werner Park’s been fantastic. From a business perspective, it’s different.”
But a new stadium dedicated to soccer will help them expand and grow, he says.
“It’s not just about Union Omaha. We want to add a women’s team, we want to start a youth academy to keep players here so they do not have to go to Denver, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Kansas City for elite training.”
The estimated cost of building a new 10,000-seat stadium is about $100 million.
A feasibility study shows it would be best suited just north of downtown. Now Union Omaha is hoping Nebraska senators will spare $50 million from the state’s cash reserve fund to help make it happen.
“The polling shows for younger people throughout our country and the world, soccer of course is very popular,” said Sen. Mike McDonnell of Omaha.
McDonnell introduced LB621, which would provide the $50 million. If the bill passes, Union Omaha would have to match that $50 million dollar grant.
McDonnell says the investment would be a no-brainer for several reasons.
“We want to retain and recruit people, especially younger people to come to our state and our city and some other avenue for entertainment. And we think it’s a good investment because the numbers show that the projections of the people that would take advantage of that and the revenue it could bring in would really be positive for our state and our city.”
The project would create 225 new construction jobs, and when complete, the stadium would employ nearly 200 people.
The stadium could also host community events and other field sports.
“We’re optimistic that people will look at ours as more than a soccer team because it is more than that, this is a multi-use facility that the community and the state can take pride in and can have to use.”
The bill went before committee on Monday. Sen. McDonnell tells 6 News he’s hopeful it will make it to the floor.
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