ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The city of Albuquerque’s study on building a professional soccer stadium is back. This time, it shows where the possible 10,000 seat stadium would be built at a price tag much higher than originally anticipated.
Born four years ago, the Albuquerque Sol FC is ready for bigger things.
“It’s a complicated process. It’s an exciting process,” Sol President Ron Patel said.
A recently completed feasibility study by the City of Albuquerque at a cost of $15,000 suggests, “if you build it, they will come” — except, a soccer stadium.
The potential locations: Lomas and Broadway, 12th and I-40, and the Rail Yards.
“Every week I have a new favorite,” Patel said.
One thing is clear, the city and the Sol want the stadium to be close to downtown.
The study looks at how an the Albuquerque Sol FC stadium would fare among United Soccer League teams, which is the second tier of pro soccer in the United States.
Granted, the Sol are not a USL team — at least, not yet. That’s the goal within the next few years.
“You have to have a number of things, you have to have a facility that’s suited for soccer, which is what this study has been talking about,” Patel said. “You have to have an ownership group that meets the criteria of the league.”
That means a group of vetted investors, something Patel hopes to unveil more information on in about a year from now.
As for the price, in the past, the figure for a new 10,000 seat stadium was $10 million. Now, it’s between $24 to $45 million, depending on the bells and whistles. Patel imagines that it’ll be paid for with a private-public partnership, but nothing is set in stone. The number of seats isn’t even for sure — it could be less than 10,000, Patel said.
Patel believes this town and this team have what it takes to warrant its own state of the art facility.
“For the last four years, I’ve believed it in my head that we can do this. And now this is kind of further proof and validation that what we’ve been saying we can do, we’re going to be able to do now,” Patel said.
The study also suggests that if the stadium is constructed near downtown, the economic impact to the area could be $42 million between 2021 and 2025.