Where should Charlotte’s MLS stadium be located?

One of the fun things we get to do as a supporters group without a team is day dream about the details that will make the Charlotte MLS club our own. Colors, crest and kits are just the beginning. Since the biggest hang up we’ve had is a stadium, I thought I would bring a fun conversation I’ve been having on Twitter this week with @Pantherzfan4lif to the newsletter. This might become a series of articles that will spur conversation within The Queen’s Firm and help us establish what we all want to see happen.

Charlotteans and those who live in the surrounding area have seen the economic activity that BB&T Ballpark and the Spectrum Center have brought. Apartments, retail, and public spaces have sprung up around these attractions. Soon the developing Legacy Union Project will spring up near Bank of America Stadium. Finding the next area ripe for this kind of development is key to the success of Charlotte, and is a compelling way to sway the city council to invest in a soccer stadium.

Land becomes the biggest challenge in finding a site for a stadium and development when we look inside the I-277 loop, but once we look outside of it there are some big parcels of land with an uptown view. These are also sites within a short walking distance of the planned LYNX lines. Building a stadium and development that promotes the use of mass transit reduces the need of parking structures (except for handicapped parking) and generates revenue for CATS.

So we know MLS wants an urban stadium with access to mass transit. We know Eastland Mall is out of the question. We also know that sharing Bank of America Stadium is not an option as well. So where do we look to put the stadium?

I have found four sites that might do the trick. I’m sure there are more of them out there. Three of them are owned by private companies and one is owned by the City of Charlotte. After looking at the light rail plans by CATS, two of these sites are perfect. The Tryon site (North Tryon St, near NoDa Brewing) would be accessible by the nearly finished Blue Line, and the Morehead site (Near I-77 and Freedom Dr) is along a line that will run to the airport. It is almost a guarantee that line will be built. The city will want that shiny train for everyone to see as they fly into Charlotte.

Personally, I think the Tryon site has the biggest benefits to the city. Today its access to highways makes it easy for the suburbs to get in to, and has multiple roads from uptown, NoDa and UNC-Charlotte. Once the Red Line to Mooresville is in, the stadium will have ready access to most of Charlotte. The development that will be created around the stadium will provide jobs to the residents of the affordable housing units near the stadium site.

According to the 2010 Census data, this zip code is the 2,703rd poorest zip codes in the country. Out of 42,000 zip codes in the United States, it ranks 39,700 for wealth. The Tryon site is definitely a place where sports would be an engine to make the lives of the citizens better. We as a group should want to better the lives of our neighbors.

So where would you want to see a stadium? What is important to you when you go to a sporting event? Leave a comment below or even better come to our next meeting and tell us in person!

Comments (16)

  1. Jeremy Mikell

    Reply

    Thank you so much for this article! Out of curiosity, I’d heard wind early in the year of a possibility of land inside the 277 between N Tryon & Brevard up against 277 where apparently most of the land is county or city owned and much of it is unoccupied AND near the new Blue Line extension. I feel this would be perfect and bring a whole new sports arena on the other end of First Ward Park (with the arena on the other end). I know there’s at least one government facility that would need moving, but this to me would be great for that area.

      • Jeremy Mikell

        Reply

        That would be awesome for Amazon HQ2 where Levine is mentioned having land (N Tryon between 6th & 9th), but the land I was speaking of was between 9th & I-277. You could end College Street prior to the stadium as well (it ends on the other side of 277 anyways) and you could have both a potential Amazon project RIGHT beside a stadium. That could lead to some pretty cool things between two massive projects like that. I get pumped every time I drive past BofA on the southside of 277 and this could have a similar view from the northside of 277 for a stadium.

    • Reply

      Here are my top sites for an #mls4pitch that I’ve been tweeting about over the last few weeks . . . . Which one do you like the best 🙂 🙂 ? ? ? (HINT: Use Google Earth App to get a good look on the location)

      Site #1: Morehead Street & Cedar Street: down the street from BoA Stadium

      Site #2: Land behind WBTV Studios (Between Morehead St & Wilkinson Blvd/US74)

      Site #3: Old Charlotte Coliseum Site (Tyvola Road Ext)**

      **Yesssssssssssssssssssss, its not near immediate Uptown CLT area (about 10 mins. away); However proposed Nashville MLS Pitch site (Fairgrounds) is same distance away from Downtown NAS

      Site #4: Wilkinson Blvd. (between Donald Ross Road & Ashley Road; CMS Bus Yard Site); I think #mls4clt could create a Pitch Park site similar to SunTrust Park Area in NW Atlanta (new Braves ballpark); Create a mixed used development (retail/commercial) surrounding the pitch. Could be a trigger for growth in West CLT corridor

      Site #5: Hal Marshall/Mecklenburg Co. Veterans Services Block (LYNX BLE Extension/N. Tryon St corridor); North side of Uptown could use a WOW! project to get growth going on this site of Uptown CLT

      Site #6: N. Tryon Street/E 16th Street Block; Road connections (N. College St.) into Uptown would have to be built to make #mls4clt pitch access easier

  2. Pingback: MLS bidders say Charlotte's chances of landing a team aren't dead yet - Charlotte Agenda

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