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On 2/25/2021 at 10:28 PM, RegalTDP said:

Thought the proposed sites for the soccer stadium were interesting.   Big fan of the Padnos site (as we've discussed here before).  Hadn't thought of Wealthy/Grandville area... Putting a stadium there makes sense to me, but I hope they don't tear down the Century Antiques warehouse for it.  I don't like the northern site by YMCA... Feel that land is better utilized for other development.

The one I really don't get is the  Butterworth Street site, that seems to be on top of the Goei Center.   That block isn't very wide, and I don't think you'd be able to fit a stadium any bigger than Houseman there.

This is only my interpretation, but the bridge seems to be an extension of the "Green Ribbon," which is modeled on NYC's High Line.  If they do it right, it'll be an elevated green space and visually appealing for people to cross.   I would think elevators at the base would still be warranted for ADA purposes, because it'd be quite a slope.

I actually think the West Side lots are the best spot for the soccer stadium. You have built in entertainment venues nearby, instead of being flung out in some area of downtown that isn't an entertainment cluster, like the Padnos and Butterworth sites. The one south of the Century warehouse is "OK" but again, nothing around it. Most people wouldn't even walk there. 

If you put it on the west side lots, there's enough room to build development around it. 

635200314_ScreenShot2021-02-24at1_02_43P

 

The West Side Soccer Village.  The ramp would be for the YMCA members, built by the developers in exchange for the land (land swap). All the orange could be developed similar to University Village on the West Side in Chicago. 

Great views of downtown from there as well from the stands. 

west side soccer village rev.jpg

 

University+Village+Apartment+Rentals.jpe

 

 

 

 

 

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I think it'd be cool to incorporate some of the existing buildings into the ground floor of the stadium. Create that "music village" idea that I talked about a few years ago here. The grunge of Detroi

A few notes: - Houseman has a track, that is not allowed in Tier 2. - GRPS will never sell Houseman, no ownership group would pay millions in reno for a stadium they are renting. - The

It would be really cool to combine the housing and soccer stadium ideas on this site, and I think it's doable. Some models for incorporating non-event uses into stadiums are Notre Dame's recent stadiu

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Thought I'd split this topic up as it doesn't seem likely that it's going to be developed as part of the 401 Market property. 

GRDad- I absolutely love your idea. The west side / bridge street would be a great entertainment district close to a stadium, and I think building a soccer stadium with a dense, urban feel would be fantastic!

Wonder how the study around housing in that area will impact this site as even an option? Populous had it on their map, but maybe they were just spitballing areas big enough to accommodate it. 

Joe

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It would be really cool to combine the housing and soccer stadium ideas on this site, and I think it's doable. Some models for incorporating non-event uses into stadiums are Notre Dame's recent stadium additions, Nippert Stadium at the University of Cincinnati, and Little Caesar's Arena in Detroit. 

And then consolidate the DASH lots into one big parking garage (ideally in place of the Big Boy, locationally) that would be a "DASH Hub" and have first floor covered transit station for DASH and other buses. 

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3 hours ago, GRDadof3 said:

I think it'd be cool to incorporate some of the existing buildings into the ground floor of the stadium. Create that "music village" idea that I talked about a few years ago here. The grunge of Detroit's Eastern Market mixed with a European -inspired soccer stadium. 

This is just to show mass.  

Ok, now THAT is a cool idea.

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Check out the rendering of the new Knoxville ballpark.

 

https://ballparkdigest.com/2020/12/09/work-could-begin-next-fall-on-new-downtown-knoxville-ballpark/

 

That's apartments and retail lining the outside of the ballpark. That's something that may be to big a scope for this project, but the Caps will move downtown someday, and this should be their template.

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14 minutes ago, Cookin_peacocks said:

but the Caps will move downtown someday, and this should be their template.

Will the Caps move downtown? It feels like they missed their window. Old Kent Park was built at a time when Downtown was kind of iffy - they figured it would be the safe bet to just put the ballpark in a giant parking lot off a freeway.  Since then, Downtown real estate has gotten really expensive and finding large-enough sites is nearly impossible - especially if the Market corridor and the West Side DASH lots are spoken for.  

I do like that Knoxville ballpark as a model - for baseball or soccer. 

Edited by Khorasaurus1
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I really hope the Whitecaps don't move downtown. I just don't see the benefit as they have a nice ballpark, they make a lot of revenue of eating and drinking at the park + parking,  and I just don't see it adding much to downtown (but taking up a lot of space)or their bottom line. Maybe if we didn't have an established team already? I just envision it taking up a lot of space, and being heavily subsidized when they already have a nice and convenient location to the north

As for the soccer stadium, I love GRDad's ideas of an Eastern market feel. I think perfect placement would be at the corner of Douglas and Mt. Vernon (since Mt. Vernon is a bit of a dead zone next to the expressway. I definitely think housing would be nicer on the western and southern portions of the area). I actually did a bit of sizing on a map and if they vacated Summer, they could fit a soccer stadium, parking structure (the size of the commerce ramp, heck, even double the size) and liner buildings on the north half of the parking lots with the ability to do plenty of housing, etc. on the Southern portions.  

Joe

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1 hour ago, Cookin_peacocks said:

Check out the rendering of the new Knoxville ballpark.

 

https://ballparkdigest.com/2020/12/09/work-could-begin-next-fall-on-new-downtown-knoxville-ballpark/

 

That's apartments and retail lining the outside of the ballpark. That's something that may be to big a scope for this project, but the Caps will move downtown someday, and this should be their template.

This is exactly what I envisioned for the market lot... it wouldve been perfect

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24 minutes ago, joeDowntown said:

I really hope the Whitecaps don't move downtown. I just don't see the benefit as they have a nice ballpark, they make a lot of revenue of eating and drinking at the park + parking,  and I just don't see it adding much to downtown (but taking up a lot of space)or their bottom line. Maybe if we didn't have an established team already? I just envision it taking up a lot of space, and being heavily subsidized when they already have a nice and convenient location to the north

As for the soccer stadium, I love GRDad's ideas of an Eastern market feel. I think perfect placement would be at the corner of Douglas and Mt. Vernon (since Mt. Vernon is a bit of a dead zone next to the expressway. I definitely think housing would be nicer on the western and southern portions of the area). I actually did a bit of sizing on a map and if they vacated Summer, they could fit a soccer stadium, parking structure (the size of the commerce ramp, heck, even double the size) and liner buildings on the north half of the parking lots with the ability to do plenty of housing, etc. on the Southern portions.  

Joe

I go to a lot of minor league games, and outside Ned Skeldon stadium in Toledo, which closed like 20 years ago, LMCU park is easily the worst minor league park I've been to.

 

Its just bare bones and they missed an opportunity to modernize it after the fire.

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The Whitecaps own their stadium.  Chamberlain & Baxter have no reason to walk away from that facility and the revenue associated with it to go to a CAA or municipal-owned site downtown.  I just can't imagine it ever happening.  

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24 minutes ago, cstonesparty said:

The Whitecaps own their stadium.  Chamberlain & Baxter have no reason to walk away from that facility and the revenue associated with it to go to a CAA or municipal-owned site downtown.  I just can't imagine it ever happening.  

I actually kind of thought putting the soccer stadium next to the Whitecaps stadium might be a reasonable location, if downtown was not going to happen.  

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30 minutes ago, cstonesparty said:

The Whitecaps own their stadium.  Chamberlain & Baxter have no reason to walk away from that facility and the revenue associated with it to go to a CAA or municipal-owned site downtown.  I just can't imagine it ever happening.  

That's a great point. But eventually a new stadium will be needed. It may be at this location. It may be elsewhere. 

 

Especially if they want to move up in class

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6 minutes ago, Cookin_peacocks said:

That's a great point. But eventually a new stadium will be needed. It may be at this location. It may be elsewhere. 

 

Especially if they want to move up in class

I've always thought it would be cool for them to move up a level or two as well.  Unfortunately, that's not likely to happen any time in the near future.  The structure of the minor leagues and majors kind of has them locked in where they are.  MLB just exercised the highest level of control they ever have in the minors and imposed a new reorg plan on the minor leagues.  The geography of the leagues and MLB priorities to keep the leagues geographically concentrate--this will not present an opportunity for the Whitecaps to move up for many years.  High A ball is midwest focused now (the former Midwest league) and AA ball is not present in this region, so MLB would frown on moving AA here because of longer travel for games for all the other league teams.  AAA Detroit is VERY unlikely to leave Toledo, and the Whitecaps benefit greatly from being part of the Tigers farm system.  

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1 minute ago, cstonesparty said:

I've always thought it would be cool for them to move up a level or two as well.  Unfortunately, that's not likely to happen any time in the near future.  The structure of the minor leagues and majors kind of has them locked in where they are.  MLB just exercised the highest level of control they ever have in the minors and imposed a new reorg plan on the minor leagues.  The geography of the leagues and MLB priorities to keep the leagues geographically concentrate--this will not present an opportunity for the Whitecaps to move up for many years.  High A ball is midwest focused now (the former Midwest league) and AA ball is not present in this region, so MLB would frown on moving AA here because of longer travel for games for all the other league teams.  AAA Detroit is VERY unlikely to leave Toledo, and the Whitecaps benefit greatly from being part of the Tigers farm system.  

I could see GR being a AA team. That's the minimum a city/metro like GR should be at.

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10 minutes ago, Cookin_peacocks said:

I could see GR being a AA team. That's the minimum a city/metro like GR should be at.

Here are the leagues the way MLB reorganized...

Minor league baseball reorganization.jpg

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There’s an article on live (behind a paywall) that had this interesting quote:

“We’re fortunate to have several locations in the city that would match well with the land and the access needs for a professional soccer stadium,” Zwiers said. He declined to identify those sites but said most are located west of the Grand River. “We would want it to be visible, kind of iconic to the city but also kind of connected to the community,” he said.

The article also said the ownership group could take 6-12 months to form, the stadium could cost approximately $40M, and the timeline is the next 5 years. 

https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/2021/03/pro-soccer-team-new-stadium-could-be-part-of-grand-rapids-future.html

Joe

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12 hours ago, joeDowntown said:

There’s an article on live (behind a paywall) that had this interesting quote:

“We’re fortunate to have several locations in the city that would match well with the land and the access needs for a professional soccer stadium,” Zwiers said. He declined to identify those sites but said most are located west of the Grand River. “We would want it to be visible, kind of iconic to the city but also kind of connected to the community,” he said.

The article also said the ownership group could take 6-12 months to form, the stadium could cost approximately $40M, and the timeline is the next 5 years. 

https://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/2021/03/pro-soccer-team-new-stadium-could-be-part-of-grand-rapids-future.html

Joe

Is the Zwiers in that article Jim Zwiers?

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yup.

Grand Action 2.0, whose members include Carol Van Andel and Dick DeVos, is working to develop an ownership group to bring a United Soccer League (USL) Championship-level team to Grand Rapids. Once the ownership group is formed, which could take six months to a year, the focus would shift to finding a site to build — and how to finance — a roughly 7,500-seat stadium.

“The community, I think, has quite a bit of excitement around this,” said Jim Zwiers, executive vice president of Wolverine World Wide and a member of Grand Action’s executive committee. “We’ve gotten a lot of really favorable feedback. We’re excited and we think it’s something that can happen for Grand Rapids.”

Zwiers said it’s too early to identify those who have expressed interest in being part of the proposed soccer team’s ownership group. But he added that a “core interest-level certainly exists around potential funders and franchise operators.”

Rough estimates indicate a stadium would cost more than $40 million.

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So soccer only stadium smaller than houseman field....I am skeptical that building a new stadium and moving from minor league tier 3 to minor league teir 2 in a smaller publicly funded stadium will yield results people think it will. Why not something in 15k range to support concerts or expandable to more in case there is possibility for a jump up in the future? Why not put a fraction of that money into houseman improvements and stay there but move to championship division? It’s already got the whole European neighborhood and historic vibe that’s us soccer halfway emulates. Why not a minor league baseball/soccer stadium with downtown views that most other smaller and midsized US cities are doing? 

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3 hours ago, GreatLakesPrintShop said:

yup.

Grand Action 2.0, whose members include Carol Van Andel and Dick DeVos, is working to develop an ownership group to bring a United Soccer League (USL) Championship-level team to Grand Rapids. Once the ownership group is formed, which could take six months to a year, the focus would shift to finding a site to build — and how to finance — a roughly 7,500-seat stadium.

“The community, I think, has quite a bit of excitement around this,” said Jim Zwiers, executive vice president of Wolverine World Wide and a member of Grand Action’s executive committee. “We’ve gotten a lot of really favorable feedback. We’re excited and we think it’s something that can happen for Grand Rapids.”

Zwiers said it’s too early to identify those who have expressed interest in being part of the proposed soccer team’s ownership group. But he added that a “core interest-level certainly exists around potential funders and franchise operators.”

Rough estimates indicate a stadium would cost more than $40 million.

Huh, I know him. I didn't know he was involved with Grand Action. 

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2 hours ago, GR8scott said:

So soccer only stadium smaller than houseman field....I am skeptical that building a new stadium and moving from minor league tier 3 to minor league teir 2 in a smaller publicly funded stadium will yield results people think it will. Why not something in 15k range to support concerts or expandable to more in case there is possibility for a jump up in the future? Why not put a fraction of that money into houseman improvements and stay there but move to championship division? It’s already got the whole European neighborhood and historic vibe that’s us soccer halfway emulates. Why not a minor league baseball/soccer stadium with downtown views that most other smaller and midsized US cities are doing? 

A few notes:

- Houseman has a track, that is not allowed in Tier 2.

- GRPS will never sell Houseman, no ownership group would pay millions in reno for a stadium they are renting.

- The jump would be from tier 4 to tier 2, which in the US is MASSIVE. Seasonal staff and amateur players with teams averaging just a few hundred spectators to full time pro staff, pro players, and teams drawing 5k to 12k spectators. Sure GRFC has drawn 5k to a match, but it was hovering around 1.5k the last (non-covid) season. 

 

Just as an anecdote as well, Cincinnati had a tier 4 team averaging 600 fans a game. They jumped to tier 2 and averaged 15k per game. They also made the case for themselves as a top tier team and made the jump to MLS. The marketing budget should not be under estimated. I've met plenty of soccer fans in GR who have no idea we have a team, and GRFC markets above and beyond most tier 4 teams. I would say I'd like to see a 10k seat stadium, because I think we can draw that. At the same time, a packed 7500 seat stadium would have a great atmosphere, and would sell out way more often.

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Totally agree. I think 7500 is a great size. I’m sure if the amphitheater weren’t in the works, they’d have gone bigger. But I think the bigger soccer stadiums are kind of lousy concert venues (like Toyota Park in Chicago). So maybe a dedicated concert venue and a dedicated soccer venue will be better experiences for both. 

All I know is, if they build it... I will become a season ticket holder.

Joe

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