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Tacoma soccer stadium proposal will be formally presented to city council on July 9

This is the most public piece of progress the project has seen since the concept was unveiled.

Original renderings of Tacoma soccer stadium.

A potential partnership between the Seattle Sounders, Tacoma Rainiers and Tacoma Metro Parks to build a stadium in central Tacoma could take another step towards reality on Tuesday.

That’s when the feasibility study is scheduled to go before the Tacoma City Council. Back in January, when Reign FC announced they were moving to Tacoma on a full-time basis, the City gave a brief update on the status of a potential stadium development. The City revealed that the proposal was in the middle of the feasibility study and that more information would be forthcoming at the completion of that process.

Renderings made their way online in the last month, and sources confirm the feasibility study is complete, and ready to be reviewed by the City Council. The study will presumably outline the economic costs and benefits of the development, including — importantly — the public contribution required to build it.

As always, public funding of sports stadiums is a contentious issue. While Tacoma does not have a law similar to Seattle which requires any public funding for private stadium provide some return to the city, the spectre of a public backlash will certainly make the parties wary of a large public cost. That issue is mitigated somewhat by the cost of the estimated 5,000-seat stadium, which would cost a tiny fraction of what CenturyLink Field ($430 million; $300 public) or T-Mobile park ($517 million; $372 public) did. A completely remodeled Cheney Stadium, for instance, cost about $30 million in 2010. The leaked proposal seemed to suggest the total cost of this project would be about $34 million, although that could change.

The study is set to be reviewed in a City Council work session earlier Tuesday, followed by the presentation before the Council at 5 p.m.

Reached for comment, the Seattle Sounders provided the following statement:

“On Wednesday, June 12, a Metro Parks Tacoma staff member shared information in a public meeting in an effort to display how the ongoing soccer-specific stadium project in Central Tacoma and related efforts could work within the community. As previously announced on January 30, feasibility studies are underway on a three-part concept to serve the Tacoma and greater Pierce County communities, inclusive of a state-of-the-art soccer-specific stadium, the potential for mixed-use development and a new multi-field sports complex in Tacoma. Our groups are collectively energized about the conclusion of this feasibility process, and we expect for the results of the final feasibility study to be shared in an open forum with the public within the next 30 days. As part of early outreach, presentations including preliminary information, have been made to the Tacoma Planning Commission, Tacoma Community College Board, and one is being scheduled with the Tacoma Central Neighborhood Council. These briefings are delivering preliminary information only.

“If the Soccer Club of Tacoma, the Tacoma City Council and the Metro Parks Board all agree to proceed with the project, then the parties will engage in further communications with the public and conduct all appropriate regulatory processes to evaluate the proposal. Final decisions on the project will not be made until all necessary regulatory and community stakeholder processes are completed. We are excited with the potential of the project and the strong interest of public and private entities interested in participating, such as MultiCare and the University of Washington Tacoma. While the completion of the feasibility study is a significant milestone, the partners must complete the negotiation process that defines the terms and conditions of the project, seek approval of the Tacoma City Council, Metro Parks Board and the ownership group of the Soccer Club of Tacoma. We look forward to a thoughtful conversation amongst all parties and the public.”

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