This past week, Mecklenburg County commissioners voted to approve a new $32 million project to rebuild Memorial Stadium in Charlotte’s Elizabeth Neighborhood and bring the Charlotte Independence Soccer team back to the Uptown area.
The new plan calls for a complete overhaul the historic stadium and adjoining Independence Park, which will allow the county to sign a long-term leases with the Independence and the Hounds (lacrosse), and set up the stadium to host frequent concerts, festivals, high school football games, soccer exhibitions; and bring additional amateur sporting events to the city.
The Charlotte Hounds are currently the only professional sports team using the facility now that the Independence are playing at the Matthews Sportsplex. Since moving, however, the Independence has seen a slow decline of both fans and revenue – a move back into a renovated stadium in the heart of the city will undoubtedly bring back many of their fans.
The county plans on recouping their money with the following cost recovery items for both the Charlotte Independence and the Hounds;
- Annual Fee: $185,000 per year (3% annual cost escalation)
- Per Game Charge: $8,800 per game (up to 30 games); Card Rate (less 10%) above 30 games
- County Revenue Share: 15% of Tenant Parking, Net Concessions, Naming Rights, Permanent Advertising
- Capital Contribution: $3 per ticket package
Mecklenburg County plans to contribute $3 million this year to start the renovation project, and they will contribute the remaining $29 million over the next 3 years, with an estimated completion date in 2021.