ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico United is working to get its own stadium as three more United Soccer League teams open their own stadiums this year. The team and the City of Albuquerque are waiting on a feasibility study to see where a stadium could go and what it should look like. The team has its sights set on downtown.
“This could be much more than a soccer stadium, this could be a community center. This could be a place where we have art installations, it could be something we have activated every single day. It could drive a lot of economic development, and ancillary benefits for the community if it’s downtown,” Peter Trevisani, President of the team, said.
The results of the feasibility study are expected to be released in late June or early July. About a dozen of the league’s 31 teams have their own stadiums and more are on the way. The Oklahoma City Energy FC is looking at a 10,000-15,000 seat downtown stadium that could cost up to $70 million.
The Charlotte Independence opened a new stadium called the American Legion Memorial Stadium this year. According to its website, it seats 10,500 and cost at least $30 million in renovations. New Mexico United was the first team to play at the Colorado Springs Switchback’s new downtown stadium, which cost $50 million and seats 8,000. Trevisani said he saw first-hand the impact of a home stadium.
“The excitement was tremendous. I’ve never seen anything close to that before. And I think it’s sustainable, which is more important. It’s not just a one-off, I think they’re building a tremendous community team up there…So, really excited as an example as to what can happen when you, you know, put a stake into something big and you follow through and make it happen,” Trevisani said.
The team is looking for a stadium to fit 10,000-15,000 fans at a cost of $50 million to $100 million. “I know that’s a big range but it really does come down to a lot of smaller details. I think, for me, if it’s a lot less than that we’re probably going to have something that ultimately will feel like will fall short of our expectations and of ourselves. And, I think much more than a hundred million dollars, we’re kind of getting out of our budget as well,” Trevisani said.
The team leads the league in attendance at more than 12,000 a game two years ago at Isotopes Park. It has more than 8,000 fans for its 2021 home opener, which is close to selling out under state COVID restrictions. New Mexico United currently pays to use Isotopes Park. Trevisani said the team will likely be playing there for at least a few more years.
Funding for a soccer-specific stadium could come from a collaboration of entities including the city, team ownership, the state, and even private investors. On Monday, the city said bond funding could be an option but it will need to wait until it gets more information from the feasibility study to see how to move forward.
The city said it received $4.1 million in state funds for the multi-use soccer stadium in 2020. It said it is also slated to get another $4 million for the project from the 2021 legislative session.