#OurRaleigh Working to Bring MLS Franchise and Stadium to Downtown, Adjacent to WPU Campus
Get ready. Downtown Raleigh could soon have a Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise, with a state-of-the-art facility just steps away from the William Peace University campus.
North Carolina Football Club (NCFC) has announced detailed plans for a proposed mixed-use community featuring an entertainment, sports and athletics venue that would span approximately 13 acres near Halifax Park, located within the boundaries of Peace St., Salisbury St., Lane St. and the N.C. Railroad easement. The community would include conference space; office, hospitality and retail space; housing and public parking.
“We are thrilled about NCFC’s bid for an MLS team. Its desired stadium location adjacent to William Peace University and vision for a true entertainment complex is inspiring and will be an incredible asset to #OurRaleigh, the Triangle Region, and the state of North Carolina. We are excited about the potential partnerships that will emerge and the impact NCFC will have on the student experience and life of the University.”
Dr. Brian C. Ralph, wpu president
According to a NCFC news release and Club Owner, Steve Malik, “This is another important step in our pursuit of a Major League Soccer Franchise. Our vision is to make this facility a crown jewel for downtown Raleigh, providing a world-class sporting and social experience for fans and the community. We are ready to engage all of the relevant constituents, including our community members, legislators, city, county and state officials, to address questions and concerns and bring this vision to life.”
NCFC states that the facility is expected to provide a net present value of $2.8 billion to the state of North Carolina, generating $262 million annually in state economic activity and create or support almost 2,000 jobs. In addition, it could create an additional $5.6 million in state taxpayer revenue each year.
“#OurRaleigh is bursting at the seams right now and we’re excited to be apart of this great community and the downtown Raleigh experience,” said Phil Rowe, Director of Athletics at WPU. “I can only imagine the opportunities, with an MLS team right across the street, that this could afford to not only our students and the community, but our student-athletes.”
“The addition of a stadium like this would be huge. It would give us students at Peace access to so many activities like MLS games, concerts and other events,” said Lindsay Perry ’18.
A #919toMLS rally is planned for later this evening from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in City Market, located on E. Martin Street. MLS and NCFC officials will be in attendance and discuss proposed plans for the venture. The public is invited to attend.