ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – Plans for a new soccer stadium in Albuquerque could be moving forward.
Sellouts were common for the New Mexico United at Isotopes Park for the professional soccer team’s inaugural season. The city and the team have said all along that Albuquerque could use a real soccer stadium, and now, the state could be getting behind the idea, too.
United is contracted to spend at least one more year sharing a home field with the Isotopes. The team has said it’s been looking at other options for a future stadium of its own.
“It’s within our scope, it’s within our plans, we’re looking into it now and we definitely hope to have it in the next five years,” NM United Marketing Director Elizabeth Davis has told KRQE News 13.
Next week, the Economic and Rural Development Committee will look into the idea of pitching in to build a new soccer stadium.
“I think we could have a first-class stadium, a world-class stadium, for about $100 million,” Rep. Antonio Maestas said Thursday.
The so-called Community Catalyst Sports Venue could be partially funded by state capital outlay funds, thanks to the oil boom.
“The experiences from other cities have proven that sports teams and sports stadiums add to the vitality of the state and the economic development of that state,” Maestas explained.
Other people expected to be there for the talks include the United’s CEO Peter Trevisani, Albuquerque COO Lawrence Rael, and a sports consultant who helped the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer get their own stadium.
The talks come two years after the city did a feasibility study for a 10,000-seat soccer stadium. But now, Maestas said they’re looking at something bigger for the team that averages more than 12,000 fans a game.
“Fifteen-thousand (seats) and then you can always upgrade it to 18,000,” Maestas said.
That committee meeting is next Thursday at the Roundhouse.
United hired that sports consultant, who said, ideally, the new stadium would be downtown.
United outdrew an MLS team this year, the Chicago Fire. They almost matched two other MLS teams: Colorado and Dallas.