Ford Field can offer the sightlines, space, and amenities needed to be a successful MLS venue, according to Palace Sports & Entertainment’s Arn Tellem.
Detroit’s MLS expansion effort is being led by Tom Gores and Dan Gilbert. The pair was previously proposing an agreement that would allow for the construction of a new stadium at the site of an unfinished jail in downtown Detroit, but last week it was revealed that the group would no longer pursue that project.
Instead, Detroit’s MLS expansion bid now calls for the club to play at Ford Field, home of the NFL’s Lions. In that scenario, the stadium would be upgraded to accommodate MLS and effectively allow the club to play its home matches in an existing downtown Detroit facility.
Whether this proposal affects Detroit’s prospects for landing a club remains to be seen, but Tellem–the vice chairman of Gores’ PS&E–has made the case for using Ford Field. According to Tellem, the stadium can easily accommodate a soccer pitch and provide the amenities needed for a strong MLS fan experience. More from The Detroit News:
“Intimacy and sightlines we can satisfy,” Tellem said.
Rosetti, an architectural firm in Detroit with international experience designing soccer stadiums, has developed a plan to make Ford Field a soccer venue.
“Rosetti spent a lot of time on this, and I think we have as intimate an atmosphere and good sight lines that are probably superior to any of the other m multipurpose stadiums in MLS,” Tellem said.
“Ford Field is an incredible venue. It satisfies, really, all the needs that we have for a potential soccer franchise.
Ford Field received $100 million in renovations leading up to the 2017 NFL season, with the upgrades including new video displays and improved premium spaces.
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