Soccer-specific stadium

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 multi-purpose 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 a soccer-specific stadium is primarily for soccer. Some facilities (for example SeatGeek Stadium, Toyota Stadium and Historic Crew Stadium) have a permanent stage at one end of the stadium used for staging concerts.

Citypark, home of St. Louis City SC, is a soccer specific stadium, located in St. Louis.

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 a roof. The field dimensions are within the range found optimal by FIFA: 110–120 yards (100–110 m) long by 70–80 yards (64–75 m) wide.[2] These soccer field dimensions are wider than the regulation American football field width of 53+13 yards (48.8 m), or the 65-yard (59 m) width of a Canadian football field. The playing surface typically consists of grass as opposed to artificial turf, as the latter is generally disfavored for soccer matches since players are more susceptible to injuries.[3] However, some soccer specific stadiums, such as Portland's Providence Park and Creighton University's Morrison Stadium, do have artificial turf.

The seating capacity is generally between 18,000 and 30,000 for a Major League Soccer franchise,[4] or smaller for college or minor league soccer teams. This is in comparison to the much larger American football stadiums that mostly range between 60,000 and 80,000 in which the original North American Soccer League teams played and most MLS teams occupied during the league's inception.[5] As opposed to gridiron-style football stadiums, where the front row of seats is elevated several feet above the field of play to allow spectators to see over the heads of substitute players and coaches on the sidelines, soccer-specific venues typically have the front row closer to the level of the pitch.[6][7]

History edit

The Columbus Crew Stadium (now Historic Crew Stadium) is the first soccer-specific stadium in MLS

In the 1970s, 80s and 90s, first-division 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 and undersized in terms of the width of the soccer field; they often used artificial turf (none of which, at the time, were approved for international soccer under FIFA rules).[citation needed] Although many of the baseball parks had smaller capacities, natural grass, and a wider field, these parks were generally in use during summer, when North American–based soccer leagues, such as Major League Soccer, also hold their seasons, and the irregular field dimensions and sightlines were often considered undesirable.

Soccer-specific stadiums first came into use in the 1990s, after the multi-purpose stadium era.[8][9]

The term "soccer-specific stadium" was coined by Lamar Hunt, who financed the construction of the Columbus Crew Stadium, the first soccer-specific stadium constructed specifically for Major League Soccer.[8] In the 2000s, other Major League Soccer teams in the United States began constructing their own stadiums. Canada's first soccer-specific stadium was BMO Field in Toronto, home to Toronto FC. This stadium was renovated to accommodate Canadian football for the 2016 and subsequent seasons.[10] The distinction is less prominent in Canada, where MLS's attendance figures are comparable to those of the domestic Canadian Football League, and the CFL's wider field means fewer compromises must be made to accommodate both; Tim Hortons Field was built purposely to both soccer specifications and CFL regulations. Of the three Canadian cities that host both MLS and CFL teams, only one (Montreal) has separate stadiums for each.

Major League Soccer (MLS) edit

Current MLS soccer-specific stadiums edit

Stadium Club(s) City Capacity Opened
Allianz Field Minnesota United FC Saint Paul, Minnesota 19,400 2019
America First Field Real Salt Lake Sandy, Utah 20,213 2008
Audi Field D.C. United Washington, D.C. 20,000 2018
BMO Field Toronto FC Toronto, Ontario 28,351 2007
BMO Stadium Los Angeles FC Los Angeles, California 22,000 2018
Children's Mercy Park Sporting Kansas City Kansas City, Kansas 18,467 2011
Citypark St. Louis City SC St. Louis, Missouri 22,423 2022
Dick's Sporting Goods Park Colorado Rapids Commerce City, Colorado 18,061 2007
Dignity Health Sports Park LA Galaxy Carson, California 27,000 2003
Chase Stadium Inter Miami CF Fort Lauderdale, Florida 21,550 2019
Exploria Stadium Orlando City SC Orlando, Florida 25,500 2017
Geodis Park Nashville SC Nashville, Tennessee 30,000 2022 Field Columbus Crew Columbus, Ohio 20,371 2021
PayPal Park San Jose Earthquakes San Jose, California 18,000 2015
Shell Energy Stadium Houston Dynamo FC Houston, Texas 22,039 2012
Providence Park Portland Timbers Portland, Oregon 25,218 1926
Q2 Stadium Austin FC Austin, Texas 20,738 2021
Red Bull Arena New York Red Bulls Harrison, New Jersey 25,000 2010
Saputo Stadium CF Montréal Montreal, Quebec 19,619 2008
Subaru Park Philadelphia Union Chester, Pennsylvania 18,500 2010
Toyota Stadium FC Dallas Frisco, Texas 19,096 2005
TQL Stadium FC Cincinnati Cincinnati, Ohio 26,000 2021

Under construction edit

Stadium Club(s) City Proposed capacity Potential opening date
Miami Freedom Park Inter Miami CF Miami, Florida 25,000 2025
New York City FC stadium New York City FC Queens, New York 25,000 2027

National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) edit

Current NWSL soccer-specific stadiums edit

Stadium Club(s) City Capacity Opened
Audi Field Washington Spirit Washington, D.C. 20,000 2018
BMO Stadium Angel City FC Los Angeles, California 22,000 2018
CPKC Stadium Kansas City Current Kansas City, Missouri 11,500 2024
Exploria Stadium Orlando Pride Orlando, Florida 25,500 2017
Lynn Family Stadium Racing Louisville FC Louisville, Kentucky 11,700 2021
Shell Energy Stadium Houston Dash Houston, Texas 22,039 2012
Providence Park Portland Thorns FC Portland, Oregon 25,218 2011
Red Bull Arena NJ/NY Gotham FC Harrison, New Jersey 25,000 2010
SeatGeek Stadium Chicago Red Stars Bridgeview, Illinois 20,000 2006
WakeMed Soccer Park North Carolina Courage Cary, North Carolina 10,000 2002

United Soccer League (USL) edit

Current USLC and USL1 soccer-specific stadiums edit

All USL Championship teams and USL League One teams will be required to play in self-owned, soccer-specific stadiums by the 2022 season. The following is a list of current USL stadiums that are soccer-specific stadiums:

Stadium Club(s) City Capacity Opened
Al Lang Stadium Tampa Bay Rowdies St. Petersburg, Florida 7,227 1947 (2015 renovation)[n 1]
American Legion Memorial Stadium Charlotte Independence Charlotte, North Carolina 10,500 1934 (2019–2021 renovation)
Breese Stevens Field Forward Madison FC Madison, Wisconsin 5,000 1926
Cardinale Stadium Monterey Bay FC Seaside, California 6,000 2022
Cashman Field Las Vegas Lights FC Las Vegas, Nevada 9,334 1983 (2019–2020 renovation)[n 2]
Championship Soccer Stadium Orange County SC Irvine, California 5,000 2017
CHI Memorial Stadium Chattanooga Red Wolves SC Chattanooga, Tennessee 5,500 2020
Optim Health System Field South Georgia Tormenta FC Statesboro, Georgia 5,300 2022
Fresno State Soccer Stadium Central Valley Fuego FC Fresno, California 1,000 2011
H-E-B Park Rio Grande Valley FC Toros Edinburg, Texas 9,400 2017
Heart Health Park Sacramento Republic FC Sacramento, California 11,242 2014
Highmark Stadium Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 5,000 2013
Legacy Early College Field Greenville Triumph SC Greenville, South Carolina 4,000 2019
Lynn Family Stadium Louisville City FC Louisville, Kentucky 11,700 2020
Patriots Point Soccer Complex Charleston Battery Mount Pleasant, South Carolina 3,500 2000
Phoenix Rising Soccer Stadium Phoenix Rising FC Phoenix, Arizona 10,000 2023
Regal Stadium One Knoxville SC Knoxville, Tennessee 3,000 1996
Segra Field Loudoun United FC Leesburg, Virginia 5,000 2019
Tormenta Stadium South Georgia Tormenta FC Statesboro, Georgia 5,300 2022
Toyota Field San Antonio FC San Antonio, Texas 8,296 2013
Trinity Health Stadium Hartford Athletic Hartford, Connecticut 5,500 1960 (2019 renovation)
WakeMed Soccer Park North Carolina FC Cary, North Carolina 10,000 2002
Weidner Field Colorado Springs Switchbacks Colorado Springs, Colorado 8,000 2021
One Spokane Stadium Spokane Velocity Spokane, Washington 5,000 2023

Stadiums under construction edit

Stadium Club(s) City Planned capacity Potential opening date
Eleven Park Indy Eleven Indianapolis, Indiana 20,000 2025
Tidewater Landing Stadium Rhode Island FC Providence, Rhode Island 10,500 2025

Proposed USL soccer-specific stadiums edit

Stadium Club(s) City Proposed capacity
Pro Iowa Stadium USL Pro Iowa Des Moines, Iowa 6,100
Iron District Stadium USL Milwaukee Milwaukee, Wisconsin 8,000

NCAA (Division I) edit

Stadium Team(s) City Capacity Opened
Albert-Daly Field William & Mary Tribe Williamsburg, Virginia 1,000 2004
Ambrose Urbanic Field Pittsburgh Panthers Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 735 2011
BBVA Field UAB Blazers Birmingham, Alabama 5,000 2015
Belson Stadium St. John's Red Storm Queens, New York 2,600 2001
Bill Armstrong Stadium Indiana Hoosiers Bloomington, Indiana 6,500 1981
Columbia Soccer Stadium Columbia Lions Manhattan, New York 3,500 1985
Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium West Virginia Mountaineers Morgantown, West Virginia 1,600 2004
Dr. Mark & Cindy Lynn Stadium Louisville Cardinals Louisville, Kentucky 5,300 2014
Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium Minnesota Golden Gophers Falcon Heights, Minnesota 1,000 1999
Ellis Field Texas A&M Aggies College Station, Texas 3,500 1994
Eugene E. Stone III Stadium South Carolina Gamecocks Columbia, South Carolina 5,000 1981
Razorback Field Arkansas Razorbacks Fayetteville, AR 1,500 1992
Eugene E. Stone III Stadium Furman Paladins Greenville, South Carolina 3,000 1995
Harder Stadium UC Santa Barbara Gauchos Santa Barbara, California 17,000 1966
Hermann Stadium Saint Louis Billikens St. Louis, Missouri 6,050 1999
Hofstra University Soccer Stadium Hofstra Pride Hempstead, New York 1,600 2003
Hurricane Soccer & Track Stadium Tulsa Golden Hurricane Tulsa, Oklahoma 2,000 2003
Lamar Soccer Complex Lamar Lady Cardinals Beaumont, Texas 500 2009
Mazzella Field Iona Gaels New Rochelle, New York 2,400 1989
Mean Green Village North Texas Mean Green Denton, Texas 1,000 2006
Merlo Field Portland Pilots Portland, Oregon 4,892 1990
Mike Rose Soccer Complex Memphis Tigers Memphis, Tennessee 2,500 2001
Morrison Stadium Creighton Bluejays Omaha, Nebraska 6,000 2003
Morrone Stadium UConn Huskies Storrs, Connecticut 5,100 1969
Nicholls Soccer Complex Nicholls State Colonels Thibodaux, Louisiana 1,000 1998
Old Dominion Soccer Complex Old Dominion Monarchs and Lady Monarchs Norfolk, Virginia 4,000 1990
Riggs Field Clemson Tigers Clemson, South Carolina 6,500 1915
Roberts Stadium Princeton Tigers Princeton, New Jersey 2,356 2008
SU Soccer Stadium Syracuse Orange Syracuse, New York 1,500 1996
University of Denver Soccer Stadium Denver Pioneers Denver, Colorado 2,000 2009
UNCG Soccer Stadium University of North Carolina at Greensboro Greensboro, North Carolina 3,540 1990
Veterans Memorial Soccer Complex Marshall Thundering Herd Huntington, West Virginia 1,006 2013
Waipio Peninsula Soccer Stadium Hawaiʻi Rainbow Wahine Waipiʻo, Hawaii 4,500 2000
Yurcak Field Rutgers Scarlet Knights Piscataway, New Jersey 5,000 1994
Ole Miss Soccer Stadium Ole Miss Rebels Oxford, Mississippi 1,500 1997

Other soccer-specific stadiums edit

Stadium Team(s) Division City Capacity Opened
City Park Stadium Westchester Flames USL2 New Rochelle, New York 1,845 1970s
Historic Crew Stadium Columbus Crew 2 MLS Next Pro Columbus, Ohio 20,000 1999
King George V Park National Stadium
Memorial Sea-Hawks
U Sports
St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador 6,400 1925
Lusitano Stadium Western Mass Pioneers USL2 Ludlow, Massachusetts 3,000 1918
Macpherson Stadium North Carolina Fusion U23 USL2 Browns Summit, North Carolina 7,000 2002
Metropolitan Oval Queens, New York 1,500 1925 (2001 renovation)
Orange Beach Sportsplex Local teams, SEC Women's Soccer Tournament Local Orange Beach, Alabama 1,500 2001
Starfire Sports Tukwila, Washington 4,500 2002
Switchbacks Training Stadium Colorado Springs, Colorado 5,000 1985
Uihlein Soccer Park MSOE Raiders NCAA Milwaukee, Wisconsin 7,000 1994
Virginia Beach Sportsplex Virginia Beach United FC USL2 Virginia Beach, Virginia 10,500 1999
Wallis Annenberg Stadium UCLA Bruins teams Los Angeles, California 2,145 2018
WRAL Soccer Center CASL teams CASL Raleigh, North Carolina 3,200 1990

Past soccer-specific stadiums edit

Stadium Club(s) City Capacity Opened Years used Status
Mark's Stadium Fall River F.C. Tiverton (CDP), Rhode Island 15,000 1922 1922–1950s vacant grass lot
Kennesaw State University Stadium Kennesaw State Owls Kennesaw, Georgia 8,318 2010 2010–present converted to a multi-purpose stadium in 2015 after Kennesaw State University launched their football program

Other countries edit

The Myyrmäki Football Stadium in Vantaa, Finland

The term "football-specific stadium" is sometimes used in countries where the sport is known as football rather than soccer, 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 field.[11][12] Some soccer stadiums in Europe are also used for other sports, including rugby, American football, and field hockey. The problem with oversized stadiums designed for another sport is particularly visible in European American football leagues and conflicts between teams sharing the stadium (a notable example are Eintracht Braunschweig and the Braunschweig Lions which share a stadium) and (often municipal) owners of the stadiums sometimes arise, leading to attempts at single sport-specific venues.[13]

In Australia the term has much the same meaning as that in the United States. The dominance of Australian rules football in the southern states means that unlike in New South Wales and Queensland, rectangular stadiums and grounds capable of hosting top level A-League soccer are rare. Hindmarsh Stadium in Adelaide, South Australia is an example of such a soccer-specific stadium, being built in the 1960s and progressively updated, the vast majority of matches played there are soccer, with very rare Rugby League or Rugby Union games. The Wyndham City Stadium and Wyndham Regional Football Facility are also examples. Many of the lower tier state league clubs own their own venues which also qualify as soccer specific.

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ Almost exclusively as a baseball park for over 60 years. However, since the Rowdies moved to the facility in 2011, it has been reconfigured to better host soccer.
  2. ^ The stadium was originally built in 1983 for the Las Vegas Stars and Las Vegas 51s baseball team. It is currently being renovated into a soccer-specific stadium with baseball moved to Las Vegas Ballpark.

References edit

  1. ^ Sakiewicz, Edward Paul (2006). "Chapter I: Introduction". A Comparative Study of Enterprise Risk Management and Decision Making Criteria Used in Developing Soccer-specific Stadiums for Major League Soccer. p. 24. ISBN 9780542914812. Retrieved August 1, 2015 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ "Laws of the Game 2010/2011" (PDF). FIFA. p. 7. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 4, 2010. Retrieved October 9, 2010. Although the official Laws of the Game allow for pitches in adult matches to be 100–130 yards (90–120 m) long by 50–100 yards (45–90 m) wide. The more restrictive range is specified for international matches like the ones used in the FIFA World Cup.
  3. ^ Fox Sports (September 10, 2014). "USWNT stars not backing down on artificial playing surface stance". FOX Sports. Retrieved October 9, 2014.
  4. ^ Andrews, Phil (December 31, 2005). "Philadelphia's Field of Dreams: MLS' Newest Home". Bleacher Report. Retrieved August 1, 2015.
  5. ^ "M.L.S. Continues to Bolster Growing Brand With New Stadium in Houston". The New York Times. Associated Press. May 12, 2012. Retrieved August 1, 2015.
  6. ^ Schrotenboer, Brent (January 12, 2017). "Chargers plan to play in smallest 'NFL stadium' for next two seasons". USA Today. Retrieved February 25, 2017.
  7. ^ Hastings, Rob (January 24, 2017). "Spurs are starting a stadium design revolution in Tottenham". iNews. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  8. ^ a b Arace, Michael (September 10, 2013). "Michael Arace commentary: Aging Crew Stadium still has a big advantage". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved August 1, 2015.
  9. ^ Granillo, Larry (September 14, 2009). "Football, Baseball, and the Era of the "Superstadium"". Wezen-Ball. Retrieved August 1, 2015.
  10. ^ "BMO Field". The Stadium Guide. August 2, 2013. Retrieved August 1, 2015.
  11. ^ "Exclusive: We will beat Olympic Stadium claim Tottenham". December 23, 2009. Retrieved July 24, 2023.
  12. ^ "Buenos Aires: Symbolic revamp at El Monumental". September 10, 2020. Retrieved July 24, 2023.
  13. ^ "Luxembourg: Only stadium with running track to be demolished?". November 21, 2011. Retrieved July 24, 2023.