Soccer Stadium Update

It has been a while since we took a look around MLS at the status of stadium construction in MLS, so here is quick snapshot.  In Kansas City, the new stadium is moving forward rapidly with opening set for the Summer of 2011.  MLS will likely follow the “Philly model” and force KC to spend most of the first months of 2011 on the road.  Kansas and the local county have offered $230 million in incentives to lure Cerner and the Wizards to Kansas.  Here is  the construction webcam.

In Vancouver, the future home of the Whitecaps is undergoing a significant makeover.  The bubble roof has been taken down in preparation for the retractable roof that will replace the current setup. As we have said before about Vancouver, the ownership group seems solid.  Mr. Kerfoot has long been a friend of soccer and Steve Nash (who has been popping up at Red Bulls practices) adds glamour and splash to the ownership.  The owners have the money; Kerfoot is a billionare.  The Whitecaps have done well at the gate and the market is hungry for higher level soccer.   BC Place is well situated and the proposed soccer stadium is also in a solid location.

Finally, in Portland, renovations to PGE Park continue.  The Timbers are offering a great virtual stadium viewer which allows fans to click on specific seats to see what benefits come with each seat as well as the costs. The team also offers a great fact sheet on the renovation.  Unfortunately a photo diary of the renovation has not been updated in quite some time.

UPDATE:  Thanks to the Timbers for reaching out to correct my note about the photo diary.  Phase I of the renovation was completed in March and the diary will re started in September when Phase II begins after the USSF/minor league baseball season concludes.  The team may also add a time lapse feature and other coverage of the construction process as the stadium renovation moves forward.

MLS Stadium Update

There are stadium updates aplenty as we look around Major League Soccer this week.  Here are a couple of quick hits from the world of soccer specific stadium construction.

In Vancouver, the Whitecaps have announced that they will play the first half of their inaugural season in a temporary stadium while BC place (their permanent home) is completed.  The temporary stadium (which is actually quite nice looking) will seat 27,500 and will cost only 14 million to build.  Given the  low cost of the structure, this seems like an outstanding temporary solution.

In Portland, the team has announced the re-design of PGE Park to accomodate the Timbers in 2011.  The $31 million renovation incorporates the existing structure to create a cozy urban stadium.   The renovation will add seats to all four sides of the structure and will include the addition of a 1,500 restaurant.  The stadium will also include an artificial playing surface.

In Kansas, heavy machines are on site to begin construction of the Wizards’ new home.  Kansas and the local county have offered $230 million in incentives to lure Cerner and the Wizards to Kansas. The stadium is set to open in mid-2011, which promises to be quite a year for soccer specfic stadiums in MLS.

In New York, Red Bull Arena is progressing well and promises to open in time for the season opener.  In Philly, the new Union stadium is moving more slowly, but still seems on target for a summer opening.

The next two years certainly promise to be exciting times in MLS construction.  We will continue to monitor the progress.