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Industry News

What’s new with MLS stadia? 

Here TheStadiumBusiness looks at all the current updates on Major League Soccer’s new stadia, the status with on-going redevelopments, and what’s next for certain teams’ stadia in the top North American football league. 

As MLS continues to grow, the number of new stadia builds and renovations are increasing too.

In December, Nashville was awarded the latest expansion franchise, marking the 24th team to enter the league through the bidding process. A decision on the second winner between Cincinnati, Detroit and Sacramento is expected soon.

Atlanta United and Minnesota United joined last year, and Los Angeles FC starts in March, giving the league 23 teams for the 2018 season.

New football-specific stadia

Bank of California Stadium (Los Angeles FC)

Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC), the newest expansion franchise is set to host the Seattle Sounders on April 29 at its recently finished Banc of California Stadium.

The 22,000-capacity ground, which will be a part of the 2028 Olympics, has a central location in downtown LA and will feature a standing supporters section on the west end.


Allianz Field (Minnesota United)

Allianz Field, the under-construction future home of new boys Minnesota United, is set to be complete by Spring 2019. This time frame would allow for a delayed home run for the club next season.

The Minneapolis-based stadium will have a 19,400-capacity that can be expanded to almost 25,000 as part of a future expansion.


Audi Field (DC United)

DC United’s Audi Field will finally open on July 14 after the team spent 21 seasons in the multi-purpose RFK Stadium. Since the ground’s doors open mid-year, DC United will be playing many games on the road in the first half of the season.


Belmont Park (NYCFC)

Belmont NYCFC Islanders

New York City FC lost their bid to build a new stadium at Belmont Park, with NHL ice hockey franchise the NY Islanders being granted permission to build a new 18,000-seat arena on the site of the horse-racing facility.

In December, both franchises unveiled the details of their competing plans for redevelopment of Belmont Park.

NYCFC currently plays its home games at Major League Baseball’s Yankee Stadium, but had proposed a 26,000-seater venue and 400,000sq ft of accompanying retail and entertainment space, 15.3 acres of open space a five-acre park and a two-acre football facility


Nashville Stadium (Nashville FC)

Nashville MLS Bid

The new boys on the block are set to begin work on their new home at the Nashville Fairgrounds this year. The plans call for a 27,500-seat stadium, with hopes of making their MLS debut in 2020.

Images: HOK Architects

MLS stadia redevelopment

BMO Field (Toronto FC)

BMO Field

Image: Cmm3

Years of renovation work that has kept Toronto playing extended road campaigns, has finally come to an end.

The 2017 league winners will return to its home ground full time, following a series of major renovations, which added an upper deck to the east grandstand, a roof over the seating areas and lengthened the field to make it suitable for hosting Canadian football.

Providence Park (Portland Timbers)

Known to be one of the best fan experiences in the MLS, Providence Park is due to undergo some renovation work this year. Four thousand new seats will be added to the downtown stadium, with the east side set to expand upward to bring the capacity over 25,000.

The Timbers’ home opener in 2018 will be delayed during phase one of the constructions, though the project will not be completed until next off-season. The renovation work also includes the construction of a new roof covering a large section of fans.

What else is in the mix?

  • Atlanta United, who had an incredibly successful debut MLS season at their new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, are looking to open the entire 70,000-capacity stadium for four matches in 2018. The club will also play host to the 2018 MLS All-Star Game.
  • New England Revolution is the club that is now most in need of a new home ground. The club has commented that it is open to a number of locations, including downtown Boston, and Rhode Island. It is hoped that the club will have a plan to present to fans by the end of 2018.
  • Columbus Crew’s hopes of relocation to Austin, Texas has been halted due to a “lack of communication from Precourt (club owner).”
 Main image: Populous