Omaha — Union Omaha wants to build a $100 million soccer stadium north of downtown. This will likely be accompanied by new housing such as hotels and other related entertainment venues.
Legislation 621, introduced by Sen. Mike McDonnell of Omaha, directs up to $50 million in state funding to help realize that vision.
10,000 fan capacity
Union Omaha President Marty Cordaro briefly outlined the outdoor stadium plan during a legislative hearing on the bill on Monday.
LB 621 has not specifically identified a tenant for the 10,000-fan stadium, but McDonnell indicated at the meeting that his bill is tailored for Union Omaha.
“It’s about the economic impact,” he said.
McDonnell said the stadium project was considered, but not ultimately selected, as a group sharing about $225 million in funds from the U.S. Relief Plan Act for North and South Omaha. Recommended.
Women’s professional soccer team
For about a year, the football organization has been looking for a new stadium for the owls, Cordaro said.
The 2021 USL League 1 champions currently share Warner Park in Sarpy County with minor league baseball team the Omaha Storm Chasers.
USL League 1 is the professional men’s league sanctioned by the United States Soccer Federation and the third tier of American football.
The proposed new stadium would open the door to growth to a higher tier of competition and larger spectators, Cordaro said.
He said the move will allow the franchise to expand the services it offers.
According to Cordaro, some of the city’s most promising young footballers have left Omaha with their families to train in cities such as Kansas City.
Union Omaha has priority land in mind, but has not secured land, Mr. Cordaro said.
Other development plans
He said the organization is interviewing candidates to develop the proposed stadium, as well as leading a wider vision that includes housing, retail and other developments around the facility.
Among the profits, Cordaro said, the expected 195 new jobs and economic impact of about $17 million annually. That’s according to research Cordaro said hasn’t been published yet.
Cordaro said fans of the nation’s fourth most popular sport live primarily in eastern Omaha, so the north part of downtown would be ideal for a new football stadium.
“It gives the metro north something it can call its own,” he said.
The Owls team has been using Werner Park as their home field for just over three years, but Cordaro said Omaha football at the ballpark wouldn’t be “viable” in the long term. says.
take the village
Members of Congress’ Banking, Commerce and Insurance Committee asked Cordaro why Morrison Stadium, home to the Creighton University soccer team north of downtown Omaha, wasn’t an option for franchises.
In addition to that, Cordaro said Union Omaha will host a variety of community events in addition to creating programs for women and youth, requiring a more flexible schedule.
The Banking, Commerce and Insurance Commission took no action Monday on whether to move the bill forward to full legislative consideration.
But Sen. Mike Jacobson of North Platt noted that the stadium project is poised to benefit financially from another law also introduced by McDonnell, which is a sports arena facility financing aid. I am calling for a change in the law.
“Do you need constant feeding?” he asked.
Centris Federal Credit Union President and CEO Steve Swanstrom touted the addition of “affordable entertainment” the stadium will bring to the metro area.
“It will take whole states, whole villages to make this happen,” he said.
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