USL Lexington Stadium Being Discussed

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Discussions are underway about possibly building a stadium for a potential Lexington (KY) USL League One club, with circuit officials visiting the city this week.

There are no finalized plans for a new Lexington team or stadium, but there is a framework being discussed for a new facility. Under that plan, a stadium would be built on the grounds of Red Mile racetrack and be designed to host soccer and potentially other events, effectively expanding event programming on the site while providing a suitable home for a USL League One club.

USL League One vice president Steven Short visited Lexington on Thursday, confirming that discussions are underway with a potential investor in the team as well as representatives of the Red Mile. However, discussions are in the early stages, meaning that plenty of work would need to be done in order to finalize any plans in Lexington. More from the Lexington Herald Leader:

Steven Short, vice president of the United Soccer League’s League One, visited the grounds of the Red Mile on Thursday along with some interested parties and Vince Gabbert, Keeneland’s vice president and chief operating officer, who was representing KRM Wagering, the joint venture with Red Mile that has significantly invested in the harness racing track and gaming parlor over the past several years.

“We’d been approached a while back by the USL about the potential for Lexington as a site for an expansion team within their league,” Gabbert said. “We’ve continued those discussions because of the commitment that we have through the partnership with Red Mile to continue to reinvest in our community.”…

Discussions in Lexington remain in the early stages and Short could not lay out specifics other than to say the USL has an interested investor for team ownership, and, obviously, with the visit to Red Mile, an interested party in having a stadium and possible multi-use facility for the franchise on its grounds.

Gabbert said KRM would not invest in the new facility itself, but would work out a land lease agreement for the site with its developers.

Lexington would not be expected to field a team until at least 2021. USL League One launched this spring with 10 teams and is currently slated to featured 12 in 2020, as expansion clubs backed by Inter Miami CF and New England Revolution, as well as Union Omaha SC, are set to begin play, while Lansing Ignite FC announced this week that it is ceasing operations. 

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