After selling out their team’s first two home games at Bishop McGuinness High School, the owners of the Oklahoma City Energy FC are already plotting where the soccer franchise might eventually build a new stadium to become the team’s permanent home.
The Energy recently launched an online survey for its fans, in part to gauge interest locating the stadium in downtown Oklahoma City.
“A new stadium could be located in close proximity to Chesapeake Energy Arena and the Bricktown area with easy access from Highway 40,” one question in the survey states. “ As well, the stadium would include many of the modern amenities that are common with new stadiums including premium seating areas, updated concession areas.”
The Energy does not have a firm location chosen yet, Energy co-owner Bob Funk Jr. said. The Energy has identified five potential locations for its new stadium, but won’t reveal the potential sites for competitive reasons.
The team hopes to build the stadium in the next three to four years and could eventually pursue public money to help build the venue.
“I am in favor of some type of public-private partnership, because I would like to see everyone buy into this,” Funk said. “Everyone has to buy in for this to succeed.”
The team is working with the Massachusetts-based construction consultant CSL Consulting to launch a feasibility study to evaluate items such as the economic impact building such a venue would have on the city, as well as gauge interest from the public on the viability of the soccer stadium.
Funk estimates building the first phase of the venue — a 7,000-seat soccer stadium — would cost from from $20 million to $25 million, not including the cost of acquiring the land. Eventually, the Energy owners foresee a move up from the USL Professional Division soccer league to Major League Soccer.
If the Energy becomes an MLS team, it will need a much larger and more costly venue — a 20,000-seat soccer stadium that could cost an estimated $180 million to build, Funk said. The exact cost of building the soccer stadium is difficult to gauge because of the variables unique to each potential location, such as the kind of parking it will require and land valuation, Funk said.
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The stadium survey is available online at surveys.customintercept.com/CSL/OKCEnergyFC14_Web/