We’re building a movement! Find answers to frequently asked questions about the USL Pro Iowa project and proposed multi-use stadium here. If you want to know more, sign up for our email list or ask a question of your own.
Why does Des Moines need a new stadium?
- Central Iowa can be awarded a USL Championship soccer franchise only if they have an appropriate purpose-built, multi-use home stadium. The United States Soccer Federation, the official governing body of U.S. Soccer, requires certain stadium standards be met, including a minimum number of seats, field size and layout, stadium layout and other amenities. These standards must be met for a USL Championship club to be awarded to Des Moines. We anticipate a public-private partnership will work best to achieve the conditions necessary for construction of a new stadium. Without the new stadium, there can be no USL Championship club.
- Soccer requires a field of play that is 70-80 yards wide and 110-120 yards long, which makes it larger than the traditional American football field.
- This new stadium will better accommodate events from numerous community partners and area cultural events than existing venues.
- The new stadium can help fill the need for expanded or purpose-built facilities from area education institutions and athletics organizations.
Where will the stadium funding come from?
- We are exploring a variety of funding sources based on the economic impact this development project will have on our community. We are committed to creating a public-private partnership that works for the entire region. In addition to providing a substantial funding mechanism for stadium development, Kyle Krause plans to contribute to the start-up costs for the club. Additional private donations are being sought in addition to state, county and city funding mechanisms.
- We have formed a community-based exploratory committee to help understand all of the possible needs for our community to build a flexible-use stadium, with potential to host many more events than USL Championship matches such as outside soccer championships, football games, cultural events and festivals, etc.
Who will own the team and operate the stadium?
- Kyle Krause will own the USL Championship team in the same way he has successfully owned the Des Moines Menace for more than 25 years.
- In terms of the stadium, a number of options and qualified parties are being researched in order to make the best possible decision for the future of soccer in Iowa.
Where will the stadium be built?
- A site has been identified at the intersection of MLK Parkway and SW. 14th street, expanding the reach of downtown Des Moines and enhancing the existing energy and appetite for sporting events downtown.
- Des Moines continues to receive national accolades such as the 5th best city to live in the U.S. and the economically strongest city, and the continuous development of downtown Des Moines continues to push Central Iowa forward. When you look at the recent growth of downtown — Krause Gateway Center, the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park — and other projects on the horizon like the Lauridsen Skatepark and water trails project, a professional soccer stadium would be one more jewel for downtown.
- The need for a soccer stadium in downtown Des Moines is identified in the Catch Des Moines Destination Master Plan, to be released fall 2019. The strategy lays the foundation for growth across Des Moines, making downtown the perfect fit for a stadium.
When will the stadium be built?
- Once funding is secured, and if we stay on track with timely decision-making, we anticipate breaking ground in August 2020, with match play beginning in March 2022.
- April 1 is the deadline for our expansion agreement with the USL. If we are not able to demonstrate that sufficient progress has been made toward fully funding and constructing a new stadium, we may lose the opportunity to have a USL Championship club.
How was the stadium size/seating determined?
- A recent independent study conducted at the request of the USL found that, based on current population and demographic information, this is the right size of stadium for Des Moines. We are building with the ability to grow, as needed.
What are the benefits to the Des Moines area if this project comes to fruition?
- We have formed a community-based exploratory committee to help understand all of the possible needs for our community to build a flexible, multi-use stadium, such as outside soccer championships, football games, events and festivals, etc.
- Several local educational institutions and organizations could benefit from a unique partnership that benefits the students and families of Central Iowa.
- According to a regional feasibility study (conducted by Johnson Consulting), the economic impact of this development project would generate at least $9.9 million in total spending and $2.3 million in increased earnings annually for the Des Moines market — meaning Central Iowa could see a 10-year impact of at least $98 million.
- In addition to temporary construction jobs, the addition of a stadium and new USL Championship franchise is projected to provide more than 100 permanent new jobs and additional seasonal and temporary positions, driving economic growth.
- The Des Moines market is thriving and our population is growing rapidly. Community amenities attract and retain not only talented people, but also companies, leading to more growth. Projects like this help us to remain at the forefront of employer and talent retention and recruitment. A USL Championship team, the state’s first professional sports team, will put Des Moines on the map nationally. Additionally, since Des Moines lies between larger cities with their own USL and MLS teams (including St. Paul, Chicago, Kansas City, St. Louis, Omaha and Indianapolis), we expect to generate new tourism revenue.
- Our first professional sports team will bring national exposure to the region through prime media market coverage, including a partnership with ESPN.
What other cities have USL Championship teams?
- 36 cities in the United States and Canada are currently home to USL Championship league teams, including cities such as Austin, Indianapolis, Memphis, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Sacramento, Charlotte and, soon, San Diego. The aforementioned cities are among many USL cities that do not have MLS clubs.
Will the new team be called the Menace?
- The Des Moines Menace has a great reputation and, as a team and an organization, has produced next-level talent for years in USL League Two. The USL Championship is a whole new level of soccer. It’s still to be determined if carrying the Menace name and brand on to the next level will properly reflect where our organization and our community is poised to go.
Will the USL Championship club support youth soccer or bring an Academy program?
- We want to serve as a catalyst to the development of youth soccer throughout the city and state. The presence of a professional soccer team in the state will elevate the sport across all age groups. The pro club will spur the development of all soccer clubs in Iowa. We’ll work with the Iowa Soccer Association to make sure the USL Championship club is an asset to the youth game. Any path forward will be a collaborative decision made with youth soccer stakeholders throughout Iowa.
What is USL Pro Iowa Campaign?
- The USL Pro Iowa campaign is our opportunity to put Central Iowa center stage, highlighting our community and current momentum through the development of a multi-use stadium, and its programming, to spur economic vitality, increase tourism and showcase Iowa by attracting regional and national events.
- The campaign is also about bringing soccer fans together — USL Pro Iowa looks to bring professional soccer to Iowa through a collective public-private partnership. This is the only way to bring the required soccer-specific stadium and the USL Championship to Des Moines.
How do I get involved?
- You can get involved by signing up for our latest updates at uslproiowa.com and following us on Facebook and Twitter at @USLProIowa. We need your support to move the stadium project forward!
When will we know if we get a stadium?
- Central Iowa needs to demonstrate that sufficient support and funding mechanisms are in place for the development of a soccer-specific stadium to meet USL requirements by April 1, 2020.