Monday, February 13, 2006

Is Cleveland about to get a soccer complex?

Plans to develop a MLS Soccer stadium along with youth fields and a shopping center in the Cleveland area seem to be coming together.

The $265 million stadium and "lifestyle center" will be located about 15 miles southeast of Cleveland in the Northfield Center Township and Macedonia areas (see map). Sports promoter Paul Garofolo and Cleveland-area developer Scott Wolstein are partners in the project, which could open as soon as 2008.

The whole issue is still in the earliest of phases, but Don Kuchta, the mayor of Macedonia, said of the two, "If anybody can make it happen, these people will."

Plans for the $160 million stadium include rollaway grass that could be moved aside for rock concerts and other such events. The surrounding area would have 20 soccer fields and 500,000 square feet of retail space.

Developers are hoping to obtain funds from the Ohio Arts and Sports Facilities Commission for some of the stadium construction cost. No other public funding requests were directly put forth, but ideas about bond sales and local tax breaks from the school district, have been discussed.

Local officials have not made a firm decision about the project, with the mayor saying, "A lot of things could make this whole deal go poof, the schools could say no." The mayor also stated that one of the biggest issues that would have to be worked out is the building of an access road alongside Route 8, where a $130 million overhaul will begin in 2007.

If funding and infrastructure issues can be agreed upon and the stadium moves forward, look for Cleveland to start picking out a MLS team name in the near future.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

A new stadium? All the traffic? I guess it would be great if you are a fan. But if you live next to it.... not so good... Macadonia is becoming a very large city and thats NOT a good thing. Do you remember the other facility in Richfield? NO... thats because no one came..... We love the idea that people want to come to our city,but not so we can see all 25,ooo visitors.

7:58 AM  

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