Though little information has surfaced since North Carolina FC submitted its expansion bid, the organization is working on its MLS stadium proposal, according to owner Steve Malik.
At the end of January, the NASL club became one of 12 entities to submit an MLS expansion bid. North Carolina FC currently plays its game at Cary’s WakeMed Soccer Park, but indicated that it planned to build a new stadium somewhere in the Triangle region–which includes Durham, Raleigh, and Cary–should the effort prove to be successful.
Thus far, little information has been revealed publicly about the organization’s stadium effort, and the exact site of the proposed facility remains in question. In the period since the expansion bids were submitted, many of North Carolina FC’s competitors have offered more detailed glimpses into their stadium plans–including FC Cincinnati, which released a design concept earlier this week—though most plans come with their own set of challenges.
Malik, however, says that there is plenty of work being done on the bid. He points specifically to North Carolina FC’s integration of Capital Area Soccer League and Triangle Futbol Club as a move that built a base of support, and says the organization is continuing to work on the process before it goes public with a plan. More from The News & Observer:
The expansion bid included a commitment to a privately funded, $150 million, 22,000-seat stadium without saying where it would go.
That’s not particularly worrisome, because there’s no reason to believe a site announcement isn’t coming at some point. While a downtown location would be ideal, the vacant land between Six Forks and St. Albans Drive next to North Hills also seems like a logical spot, and North Hills developer John Kane was standing in the back of the room when the team announced its expansion bid.
Meanwhile, bids elsewhere, including some that seemed to be far ahead of the Triangle in the expansion race, have seen their stadium plans fall apart.
“We are managing, like we’ve said, multiple scenarios and it is fluid,” Malik said. “Whoever’s gotten a stadium built would agree with that statement. A lot of other folks moved themselves down that ranking, if you will, and so we have been careful to build that base of support that we need before we become public with our preferred option. That’s kind of where we’re at.”
Malik also told The News & Observer that MLS officials will be making a site visit soon to evaluate the expansion proposal.