Soccer-specific stadium

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Soccer-specific stadium is a term used mainly in the United States and Canada,[1] to refer to a sports stadium either purpose built or fundamentally redesigned for soccer and whose primary function is to host soccer matches, as opposed to a multipurpose stadium which is for a variety of sports. A soccer-specific stadium may host other sporting events (such as lacrosse, American football and rugby) and concerts, but the design and purpose of an soccer-specific stadium is primarily for soccer. Some facilities (for example Toyota Park, Toyota Stadium and Columbus Crew Stadium) have a permanent stage at one end of the stadium used for staging concerts.

A soccer-specific stadium typically has amenities, dimensions and scale suitable for soccer in North America, including a scoreboard, video screen, luxury suites and possibly even a roof. The field dimensions are within the range found optimal by FIFA: 110–120 yards (100–110 m) long by 70–80 yards (64–73 m) wide,[2] These soccer field dimensions are wider than the regulation American football field width of 53.3 yards (48.7 m), or the 65 yards (59 m) width of a Canadian football field.

Lastly, the seating capacity is generally small enough to provide an intimate setting, between 18,000 – 30,000 for a Major League Soccer franchise,[3] or smaller for minor league soccer teams. This is in comparison to the much larger American football stadiums that mostly range between 60,000 – 80,000 in which the original North American Soccer League teams played at and most MLS teams participated in during the league's inception.[4]

The term "football-specific stadium" is sometimes used in countries where the sport is known as football rather than soccer,[citation needed] although the term is not common in countries where football is the dominant sport and thus football-specific stadiums are quite common. The term tends to have a slightly different meaning in these countries, usually referring to a stadium without an athletics track surrounding the pitch.[citation needed]

PPL Park, home of the Philadelphia Union, is a soccer-specific stadium.

History[edit]

In the 1980s and 1990s, Division I professional soccer leagues in the United States, such as the North American Soccer League and Major League Soccer, primarily used American football fields, many of which were oversized in terms of seating capacity, undersized in terms of width of the soccer pitch, and often used artificial turf (none of which, at the time, were approved for international soccer under FIFA rules).[citation needed] Although most of the baseball parks had smaller capacities and a wider field in which to place the pitch, these parks were generally in-use during the summer season, when North American–based soccer leagues, such as Major League Soccer, also hold their seasons.

Soccer-specific stadiums first came into use in the 1990s, after the multi-purpose stadium era.[5][6] The term "soccer-specific stadium" was coined by Lamar Hunt, who financed the construction of the Columbus Crew Stadium, the first soccer specific stadium used in Major League Soccer.[7] In the 2000s, other Major League Soccer teams in the United States began constructing their own stadiums. Canada's first soccer specific stadium is BMO Field in Toronto, Ontario, home of Toronto FC.[8]

Major League Soccer (MLS)[edit]

Current MLS soccer-specific stadiums[edit]

Stadium Club(s) City Capacity Opened
BBVA Compass Stadium Houston Dynamo Houston, TX 22,039 2012
BMO Field Toronto FC Toronto, ON 21,859 2007
Buck Shaw Stadium San Jose Earthquakes San Jose, CA 10,525 1962; 2008 renovation
Columbus Crew Stadium Columbus Crew Columbus, OH 22,555 1999
Dick's Sporting Goods Park Colorado Rapids Commerce City, CO 19,680 2007
PPL Park Philadelphia Union Chester, PA 18,500 2010
Red Bull Arena New York Red Bulls Harrison, NJ 25,189 2010
Rio Tinto Stadium Real Salt Lake Sandy, UT 20,008 2008
Saputo Stadium Montreal Impact Montreal, QC 20,801 2008
Sporting Park Sporting Kansas City Kansas City, KS 18,467 2011
StubHub Center Los Angeles Galaxy,
C.D. Chivas USA[9]
Carson, CA 27,000 2003
Toyota Park Chicago Fire[10] Bridgeview, IL 20,000 2006
Toyota Stadium FC Dallas Frisco, TX 20,500 2005

Future MLS soccer-specific stadiums[edit]

Stadium Club(s) City Capacity Construction
began
Planned
opening
Ref
Orlando City Stadium Orlando City Soccer Club Orlando, FL 20,000 2014 2015 [11]
San Jose Earthquakes Stadium San Jose Earthquakes San Jose, CA 18,000 2013 2015

Proposed MLS soccer-specific stadiums[edit]

Stadium Club(s) City Proposed capacity
D.C. United Stadium D.C. United Washington, D.C. 24,000
Miami MLS stadium Miami MLS team Miami, FL 20,000
New York City FC Stadium New York City FC New York City, NY 25,000–30,000

In 2011 Bob Lenarduzzi confirmed that the Vancouver Whitecaps are now committed to BC Place, and that plans for the waterfront stadium have been put on hold.[12]

North American Soccer League (NASL)[edit]

Current NASL soccer-specific stadiums[edit]

Stadium Club(s) City Capacity Opened
Atlanta Silverbacks Park Atlanta Silverbacks Atlanta, GA 5,000 2006
NSC Stadium Minnesota United FC Blaine, MN 8,500 1990 (2008 renovation)
Toyota Field San Antonio Scorpions San Antonio, TX 8,000 2013
WakeMed Soccer Park Carolina RailHawks Cary, NC 10,000 2002

Proposed NASL soccer-specific stadiums[edit]

Stadium Club(s) City Capacity
New York Cosmos Stadium New York Cosmos Elmont, NY 25,000

United Soccer Leagues (USL)[edit]

Current USL soccer-specific stadiums[edit]

Stadium Club(s) Division City Capacity Opened
Blackbaud Stadium Charleston Battery USL Pro Charleston, SC 5,113 1999
City Park Stadium Westchester Flames PDL New Rochelle, NY 1,845 1970s
Seminole Soccer Complex (Sanford) Central Florida Kraze PDL Lake Mary, FL 3,666 1995
Ezell Park Nashville Metros PDL Nashville, TN 1,317 1950s
Highmark Stadium Pittsburgh Riverhounds USL Pro Pittsburgh, PA 3,500 2013
Indiana Invaders Soccer Complex Indiana Invaders PDL South Bend, IN 4,985 2004
Legion Stadium Wilmington Hammerheads USL Pro Wilmington, NC 5,300 1930s?
Lusitano Stadium Western Mass Pioneers PDL Ludlow, MA 3,000 1918
Macpherson Stadium Carolina Dynamo PDL Browns Summit, NC 1,600 2002
Patriot Stadium Chivas El Paso Patriots PDL El Paso, TX 3,000 2005
Sahlen's Stadium Rochester Rhinos
Western New York Flash
USL Pro
NWSL
Rochester, NY 13,500 2006
Virginia Beach Sportsplex Hampton Roads Piranhas PDL Virginia Beach, VA 10,000 1999
Bonney Field Sacramento Republic FC USL Pro Sacramento, CA 8,000 2014

Future USL soccer-specific stadiums[edit]

Stadium Club(s) City Capacity Planned Opening
Matthews Sportsplex Charlotte Eagles Matthews, NC 7,000 2014

Other soccer-specific stadiums[edit]

Stadium Team(s) Division City Capacity Opened
Albert-Daly Field William & Mary Tribe NCAA Williamsburg, VA 1,000 2004
Belson Stadium St. John's Red Storm NCAA Queens, NY 2,600 2001
University of Denver Soccer Stadium Denver Pioneers NCAA Denver, CO 2,000 2009
Columbia Soccer Stadium Columbia Lions NCAA New York City, NY 3,500 1985
Ellis Field Texas A&M Aggies NCAA College Station, TX 3,500 1994
Fifth Third Bank Stadium Kennesaw State Owls NCAA Kennesaw, GA 8,300 2010
Hermann Stadium Saint Louis Billikens NCAA St. Louis, MO 6,050 1999
Hofstra University Soccer Stadium Hofstra Pride NCAA Hempstead, NY 1,600 2003
Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium Puerto Rico Islanders Bayamón, PR 22,000 1974; 2003 and 2012 renovation
King George V Park National Stadium
Memorial Sea-Hawks
CONCACAF
CIS
St. John's, NL 10,000 1925
Kiwanis Municipal Park Stadium   Williamsburg, VA
Maryland SoccerPlex Washington Spirit NWSL Germantown, MD[13] 5,128 2000
Mean Green Village North Texas Mean Green NCAA Denton, TX 1,000 2006
Metropolitan Oval Queens, NY 1,500 1925; 2001 renovation
Mike Rose Soccer Complex Memphis Tigers
Various
NCAA
Local
Memphis, TN 2,500 2001
Morrison Stadium Creighton Bluejays
Various
NCAA
Local
Omaha, NE 6,000 2003
Old Dominion Soccer Complex Old Dominion Monarchs and Lady Monarchs NCAA Williamsburg, VA 4,000 1990
Orange Beach Sportsplex Local teams Local Orange Beach, AL 1,500 2001
St. Louis Soccer Park   Fenton, MO 6,000 1982
Starfire Sports Seattle Reign FC
Seattle Sounders Women
NWSL
W-League
Tukwila, WA 4,593[14] 2002
UNCG Soccer Stadium University of North Carolina at Greensboro NCAA Greensboro, NC 3,540 1990
Uihlein Soccer Park MSOE Raiders
Various
NCAA
Local
Milwaukee, WI 7,000 1994
Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex Marshall Thundering Herd NCAA Huntington, WV 1,006 2013
Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium Hawaiʻi Rainbow Wahine
Various
NCAA
Local
Waipiʻo, HI 4,500 2000
WRAL Soccer Center CASL teams CASL Raleigh, NC 3,200 1990s
Yurcak Field Rutgers Scarlet Knights NCAA Piscataway, NJ 5,000 1994
Dr Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium Louisville Cardinals NCAA Louisville, KY 5,300 2014

Past soccer-specific stadiums[edit]

Stadium Club(s) City Capacity Opened Years used Status
Mark's Stadium Fall River Marksmen
Fall River F.C.
North Tiverton, Rhode Island 15,000 1922

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Edward Paul Sakiewicz, A Comparative Study of Enterprise Risk Management and Decision Making, http://books.google.com/books?id=0finZwj9-LYC&pg=PA24&lpg=PA24&dq=soccer+specific+stadium+term+united+states&source=bl&ots=a8_CchsB_3&sig=_Bz4OGyQyxWQQnNewX0ufQ8eWAo&hl=en&sa=X&ei=ycmzUq7bItWisQSrx4CACw&ved=0CEIQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=soccer%20specific%20stadium%20term%20united%20states&f=false
  2. ^ "Laws of the Game 2010/2011" (PDF). FIFA. p. 7. Retrieved 2010-10-09.  Although the official Laws of the Game allow for pitches in adult matches to be 100–130 yards (91–119 m) long by 50–100 yards (46–91 m) wide. The more restrictive range is specified for international matches like the ones used in the FIFA World Cup.
  3. ^ Bleacher Report, Philadelphia's Field of Dreams: MLS' Newest Home, Dec. 31, 2009, http://bleacherreport.com/articles/317174-philadelphias-field-of-dreams-mls-newest-home
  4. ^ New York Times, M.L.S. Continues to Bolster Growing Brand With New Stadium in Houston, May 12, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/13/sports/soccer/mls-keeps-moving-up-as-houston-dynamo-open-stadium.html?_r=1&
  5. ^ The Columbus Dispatch, Aging Crew Stadium still has a big advantage, Sep. 10, 2013, http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/sports/2013/09/10/aging-crew-stadium-still-has-a-bigadvantage.html
  6. ^ Wezen Ball, FOOTBALL, BASEBALL, AND THE ERA OF THE "SUPERSTADIUM", Sep. 14, 2009, http://www.wezen-ball.com/2009-articles/september/football-baseball-and-the-era-of-the-qsuperstadiumq.html
  7. ^ The Columbus Dispatch, Aging Crew Stadium still has a big advantage, Sep. 10, 2013, http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/sports/2013/09/10/aging-crew-stadium-still-has-a-bigadvantage.html
  8. ^ The Stadium Guide, BMO Field, http://www.stadiumguide.com/bmofield/
  9. ^ Was also used by the Los Angeles Sol of Women's Professional Soccer in that team's only season in 2009.
  10. ^ Also used by the Chicago Red Stars of WPS before that team's departure from WPS after the 2010 season.
  11. ^ http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2013-10-07/news/os-orlando-soccer-stadium-venues-20131004_1_orlando-city-soccer-club-soccer-specific-stadium-usl-pro
  12. ^ "Fenway Park and the Waterfront Stadium". The Vancouver Province. May 14, 2012. Retrieved 2013-02-27. 
  13. ^ The stadium is located in Germantown, but has a Boyds postal address.
  14. ^ http://www.soundersfc.com/Matchday/Matches/2011/Season/USOC-03-vs-FC-Dallas.aspx