Prodigal is donating more than $100,000 to have McGuinness' field undergo a complete renovation in a stadium that will seat 4,000. Improvements will benefit McGuinness sports teams and others.
The plan is a new 7,000-seat stadium with expansion capabilities will be constructed the next three to four years. Several locations are being evaluated. Once land is purchased with easy access to the public, plans will be drawn up for a stadium that could be paid by a combination of private and city dollars.
When the stadium debuts in 2017 or 2018, the new facility also will host youth soccer, rugby, lacrosse, even some concerts.
“It will be a phase process,” Funk said. “Whether it's phase I and II or it's done in phases I, II, III, IV and V we're not sure, yet. We know we'll eventually have to have at least a 20,000-seat stadium. That's an MLS standard. The first step is building some momentum with a USL pro franchise.”
Funk's long-term goal is grandiose.
To become a member of the MLS, one primary requirement is a team must average 20,000 fans a game.
Several cities have turned a USL Pro team into a springboard for an MLS franchise. Four of the last five MLS expansion teams (Seattle Sounders, Portland Timbers, Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps) have come from USL Pro.
“This isn't our team, it's the community's team,” said John Allgood, Prodigal vice president for new business. “Eventually we're going to play in a new stadium. In the meantime we have a great partnership with Bishop McGuinness that benefits our athletes and the McGuinness' athletes as well.”