Local News

Raleigh mayor talks MLS in State of the City

Posted August 8

— Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane addressed Major League Soccer in her State of the City address Tuesday.

When the pitch was made to bring major league soccer to Raleigh, there was a groundswell of support.

While McFarlane doesn't deny the allure of bring a major league sport to the city center, she says there are lots of unknowns at this point.

"I know it could be a great addition for the city," McFarlane said. "How is it paid for? What's the cost for the city? How does all the math work?"

NCFC owner Steve Malik has said he is not asking the public to fund the stadium's estimated $150 million construction costs, but McFarlane points out there are a lot of moving parts to the proposal.

McFarlane mentioned the roads around the proposed stadium would definitely be affected.

"It takes three years, and we have to divert all the traffic, there's a lot of cost people do not see," she said.

She also brought up location. The NCFC wants to form a public-private partnership with the state to use 13 acres of state-owned property bounded by Peace, Salisbury and Lane streets just north of downtown

"Where it's proposed downtown, that could be a lot of road disruption, rerouting of people, there are a lot of pieces, and we haven't been in one room to talk about it yet," she said.

Still, both the mayor and County Manager Jim Hartmann don't dismiss the benefits

"There's a great opportunity there if the dollars work out right. If the public investment is very measured, the benefits provided to the community can be significant," Hartmann said.

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