By Ethan McElvaney
RALEIGH (PT) – This summer, NC FC has started to campaign for a major league soccer stadium across the street from Seaboard Station as part of a bid to make Raleigh one of the next MLS expansion cities.
The NC FC website states that construction of the stadium will require the government to raze a group of widely hated buildings known as the State Government complex. In their place, the complex will include several improvements to the area such as retail stores and extended parking.
According to MLS journalist Sam Stejskal, both the stadium and the multi-use complex will cost $750 Million, but none of it will come from taxpayer money because the development will be placed on state property.
The stadium is estimated to bring $2.8 billion in present value and $226 million in annual profit city in addition to many new eating, entertainment, and shopping options for William Peace Students according to the Peace website.
Mary Puckett, head of the women’s soccer team at Peace, rather likes the proposal.
“I think [the stadium] had a lot of upside because it would mean that Raleigh is a soccer town. That might build up some excitement for soccer in the area and it would be convenient to attend games from here”.
This sentiment is echoed by Peace’s student athletes.
“I love it. It’s a great idea!” said men’s soccer player Will Hall. Women’s softball player Alex Garrison also replied, saying, “I think it’s a good idea because it will bring more people to our area, but I’m curious as to how it will affect our campus.”
However, non-athletic students had a mixed reaction to the whole situation.
“I see how we’d benefit economically, but there’s going to be a lot of traffic” said Anna Woody. “It’s gonna be insane!”
Juan Pleitez had much to say on his skepticism. “I can see the long-term benefits, but it’ll be a rough time for William Peace…how will they need to change security? People like that Peace is a quiet school, but how quiet will Peace be? Will we have rights to the stadium? It’s a beautiful stadium.”
Many students who don’t keep up with sports did not know about the proposal. “I haven’t heard about it until you started interviewing people” said Callie Boyd. “This is the first time I’m hearing about this!” responded Emily Bannerman.
Students who only occasionally look at the news didn’t know about the stadium either.
“I don’t follow the news” said Katlyn West after she and Merchaunt Aal-anubia mentioned they didn’t know about the soccer complex.
Aal-anubia also stated that he did not often catch up with the news either.
Some even doubted the realism of the proposal or took it as a joke.
“They’ll only have room for a high school stadium” said Matt Johnson.
This was followed by John Everett shouting “SOCCER CAUSES VIOLENCE!” as his friends did impressions of South Park characters.
Jason Debruyn of WUNC 91.5 states that the bid will not be finalized until December 2017.
At that point, the MLS will have to choose from 12 proposed teams as stated by Sports Illustrated.