Group Hopes to Build 10,000 Seat Stadium, Bring New Soccer Team to Buffalo

USL team in Buffalo contingent on securing mixed-use stadium development

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Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - A new professional soccer team will soon be playing in Buffalo... if the developers involved can find a site and construct a 10,000-seat soccer-specific stadium within the next few years.

Real estate developer John McClutchy announced Tuesday that he has entered into an agreement with the United Soccer League to bring a USL Championship club to Buffalo, contingent upon the construction of a soccer specific stadium in Buffalo and completion of economic feasibility studies. McClutchy is working with Dennis Penman of Penman Development Partners, who sits on the board of the Buffalo Urban Development Corporation, to identify and acquire a site to accommodate the stadium development.

If awarded the franchise, the team would look to kick off during the 2023 USL Championship season.

The USL Championship features 36 teams across the United States, and is considered one step below Major League Soccer. 

“Buffalo is no stranger to the beautiful game,” McClutchy said in a statement. “Youth soccer is especially strong, with over 10,000 registered players and a supporter culture that has a great foundation with its American Outlaw chapter. When you combine this with Buffalo’s vibrant downtown community and its growing millennial population, the time is right to get the ball rolling on bringing a USL Championship club to this great city.”

Buffalo has hosted professional teams before, but never an outdoor team on the level of the USL Championship.

That's not to say the area hasn't been without soccer to take in. FC Buffalo has played soccer in the NPSL for the past 10 years. 

“We’ve had some intriguing discussions with John and Dennis about the project and a soccer-specific stadium of that scale in Buffalo would be a such a terrific addition to our landscape,” said FC Buffalo co-owner Nick Mendola in a statement. “We’ve loved growing FC Buffalo for 10-plus years, so it’s no surprise that the combination of our incredible home town and this exciting sport connect to make an attractive proposition. We remain committed to the game in Buffalo and are excited to begin our 11th season this summer. We’re proud to have built this club in our hometown and excited to grow it into the future."

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