Elected officials intrigued by soccer stadium in WNY

Finding a site is first step for 10,000 seat stadium

Mike Baggerman
November 20, 2019 - 3:00 am

January 9, 2019 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) – The idea of a soccer stadium in Western New York has piqued the interest of elected officials.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown and New York State Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul are among the local leaders interested in having professional soccer return to Western New York. Mayor Brown said he has offered to help developer John McClutchy find the right spot for a soccer stadium in Western New York. Hochul said she would love to see a soccer team come to the region.

The responses come just hours after McClutchy announced he entered into an agreement with the United Soccer League to bring a club to Buffalo that comes with a caveat that a soccer specific stadium comes to the city, too. The USL is one step below Major League Soccer and features 36 teams across the country.

If awarded the franchise, a team could begin playing in Buffalo during the 2023 USL Championship Season.

“We’ve offered to, through our division of real estate, aid them in their search for a suitable location in the City of Buffalo,” Brown told reporters. “I’m hopeful that we’d be able to find the right location.”

Brown reserved comment on whether or not the stadium would be funded using public dollars, saying that finding a location is the first step in the process.

“Why not?” Hochul said. “We are a sports town through and through.”

Hochul said that it’s premature to suggest the state would get involved but she said it could if it becomes a part of economic development.

“It is not on the state’s radar to fund a venue like this but it’s something we’re intrigued by,” Hochul said. “Individuals from within the community and outside who want to look at us to bring another sports team? It’s exciting.”

Downtown Buffalo has also been suggested as a location for a new stadium for the Buffalo Bills. Hochul said it’s premature to suggest that there would be two stadiums built together. Brown said there is room for two professional sports stadiums in the City of Buffalo.

Buffalo Common Councilman David Franczyk said he would like to see the city move forward with building a stadium.

“I think they can do it,” Franczyk said. “I bet in the back of their mind they have a site in mind, though I didn’t see a site (according to WBEN’s web story).”

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