ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The city of Albuquerque’s long-awaited study over where to put a New Mexico United soccer stadium makes it clear downtown is the favored spot. But aside from raising the money to build a stadium, the city will also likely have to buy out a lot of property to make the project happen.
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According to the study published last Friday, the two preferred sites for a 10,000 to 12,000 seat stadium include property at the intersection of Coal and Broadway and a site at Second Street and Iron. The study doesn’t go as far as to suggest a top site. Analysis of the top two locations shows each has unique challenges.
New Mexico United owner and CEO Peter Trevisani has made it no secret he prefers downtown Albuquerque for a future stadium. When asked if he had a favorite site during a post-game news conference Saturday, he declined to pick a single choice but expressed support for the “two preferred sites” outlined in the report.
“For me, it’s where can I have the biggest impact?” Trevisani said. “Where can it be a positive impact for the community and be catalyst for change and show so much more than brick and mortar.”
Within the city’s stadium feasibility report, downtown has three of the four highlighted sites including Second and Iron, Coal and Broadway, and a site on what is currently the Rail Yards’ historic turntable. The fourth site highlighted in the feasibility report is near 12th Street and I-40, near the Sawmill neighborhood.
According to the report, a stadium near Coal and Broadway would sit just east of the railroad tracks on what today is owned by multiple private parties. Today, the Salvation Army and Family Dollar operate stores on the site. The Rail Runner commuter train service also operates its maintenance offices from the site.
In order for the stadium to be built on the Coal and Broadway site, the city would have to purchase multiple pieces of private land and raise the existing structures on site. The stadium would then be built directly next door to several homes in the South Broadway neighborhood. Rough site plans for the stadium indicate new nearby surface parking would be a part of the Coal and Broadway development along with some retail space within the stadium.
“We’ve got to talk to everybody and do the best we can,” Trevisani said Saturday, acknowledging the impact a stadium would have being in close proximity to a neighborhood. “You know, we don’t want to do any harm, we’ve just got to make sure we do the right thing by everybody.”
The second of the “preferred sites” for the stadium would be on the west side of the railroad tracks at the intersection of Second and Iron. That property just north of the Rail Yards is mostly owned today by the city of Albuquerque, but it also includes some privately owned parcels of land.
Renderings in the report indicate a stadium at Second and Iron would be built on top of what is today a section of First Street leading up to the Rail Yards property. Rough site plans show the Second and Iron site has the potential for more development options compared to the Coal and Broadway site. The report outlines possible investments at Second and Iron including a 122-car parking garage and multiple retail buildings.
“In some ways, I feel like we’re at the top of Mount Everest now, but we’ve still got to get down the mountain you know. We’re not done yet,” Trevisani said. “I think we’re going to change downtown Albuquerque forever.”
The report estimates stadium costs to about $71 million and $84 million between those of the two preferred downtown stadium proposals. That cost could fluctuate depending on how many luxury boxes might come with the new stadium and how much canopy might be built. The cost also does not include the price of any land acquisition. United owner Peter Trevisani hasn’t said how much private funding he’ll round-up for the project.
The site just south of the Rail Yards received less favorable marks in the report as compared to the other downtown sites in part because of cleanup costs and existing historic buildings that could be obstacles to construction. The site by 12th and I-40 was noted for its more than one-mile distance from the heart of downtown.