Wednesday, September 09, 2009 |
According to a report on the Kanasas City Star website, the Wizards are pursuing a new site for their proposed soccer specific stadium.
The economy has seriously affected efforts at the original site, the Bannister Mall area in south Kansas City. The new site, which would place the stadium in Kansas' Wyandotte County near the Kansas Motor Speedway rather than in Missouri, would move the team west. A $400 million dollar development plan has been proposed by the Wizards owners, OnGoal LLC, which would include youth facilities and office space for a medical software company owned by members of the club's ownership group.
The Wizards fan blog Down the Byline includes a drawing of the newly proposed stadium.
With the Wizards continuing to place in the tiny Community American Ballpark that is ill-suited to soccer (still waiting for a player to tear every ligament in their knee on the pitcher's mound), getting them into a soccer specific stadium as soon as possible is crucial to their success in the market. The Bannister Mall plan seemed solid and the artist's renderings were intriguing; the team shifting their focus to a new site is disheartening, although it is encouraging to see them exploring alternative possibilities. As we've seen in San Jose and DC, getting one stadium plan together is tough enough.
The shift to a less-centralized location could be a problem for some of the Wizards' fan base, so it will be interesting to see what the reaction might be from their supporters.
Down the Byline also reports that the Bannister Mall site is not completely dead yet, and that OnGoal pursuing another site may be a way to prompt renewed movement at that location.