An effort is underway to launch a USL Des Moines club in USL Championship, with hopes of beginning play in 2022 if a proposed stadium moves forward.
Under plans unveiled Wednesday night, the Des Moines USL Championship club would be backed by an ownership group led by Krause Group Chairman and CEO and Des Moines Menace (USL League Two) owner Kyle Krause. It would play home matches in a new stadium, featuring at least 6,000 seats, 18 suites, club seating, and a fan zone. Should the stadium be built, it would also be utilized for other events beyond professional soccer matches.
The goal is to launch the club by the 2022 USL Championship season, but some work remains in that process. Proposed financing for the stadium calls for a public-private funding model, which would have to go through local and state approvals. Currently, the hope is to break ground on the stadium next August and complete construction in time for the 2022 season. More from the Des Moines Register:
It would be constructed through a public-private partnership, according to the group’s newly launched website. Krause plans to contribute to start-up costs for the club alongside a substantial funding mechanism for stadium development, the group sats. Additional private donations are being sought in addition to state, county and city monies.
The group says it has formed an exploratory committee rooted within the community to “help understand all of the possible needs” in building the multi-use stadium.
The group says central Iowa must meet an April 1, 2020, deadline to show the league that “sufficient support and funding mechanisms are in place” to develop the stadium. Those requirements include the owner-operator of the stadium. For example, the city of Des Moines owns Principal Park, home of the Iowa Cubs of baseball’s Pacific Coast League….
If funding thresholds are met, the group anticipates breaking ground on the stadium in August 2020, with the team officially beginning play in the league in March 2022.
A press release issued Wednesday night did not mention a stadium site or cost estimate, but the Register has reported that the group “hopes to build a $60 million stadium on the southern edge of downtown, near Southwest 14th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, according to details provided to the Register.” In Wednesday’s announcement, USL officials and Krause pointed to the strong potential that they believe a USL Championship club in Des Moines would offer.
“Des Moines is a wonderful community that would make an ideal home for a USL Championship club,” USL President Jake Edwards said in a press statement. “There is very strong local ownership and a huge appetite for professional soccer. All that’s remaining now is the development of a soccer-specific stadium, and once that occurs, we look forward to delivering a professional soccer club that this community can be proud of.”
“As the fastest-growing major metro in the Midwest, and home to one of the most successful USL League Two clubs, Des Moines is primed and ready to take soccer to the next level,” Krause said in a press statement. “Bringing Des Moines a USL Championship club — Iowa’s first professional soccer team — and a multi-use stadium will have transformative benefits to Central Iowa, further boosting civic pride and the economic vitality of our growing city.”
Image courtesy USL Pro Iowa.