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Nebraska Unicameral Paves the Way for Downtown Omaha Soccer Stadium

April 30, 2024
A rendering of Union Omaha’s proposed $60 million, 7,500-seat soccer stadium planned for a grassy area between Gallup’s headquarters and Abbott Drive in North Downtown.

A professional soccer stadium planned for the North Downtown Riverfront area took a big step forward last week with the passage of LB1317 on the last day of the 2024 Unicameral session.

Changes to the Sports Arena Facility Financing Act, passed 49-0, will amend the act to support eligible sports arena facilities described, in part, as any large public stadium with a fixed seating count of less than 7,500 seats in which initial occupancy occurs on or after March 1, 2025.

According to the act, a portion of state sale taxes collected from ticket sales and nearby retailers, among other sources in the vicinity of the stadium, can be used to help pay for project costs.

Union Omaha’s $60 million stadium is poised to start construction in 2024, with doors opening to the public in 2026. The stadium will rise on an open grassy area between Gallup’s headquarters and Abbott Drive.

“With the passage of these changes to the Sports Arena Facility Financing Assistance Act, we’re not just investing in arenas; we’re investing in communities,” said Senator Mike McDonnell. “This legislation ensures that our sports infrastructure remains vibrant, supporting local economies and providing opportunities for athletes of all ages. Today, we reaffirm our commitment to the power of sports to unite, inspire, and uplift.”

The state has authorized cumulative support of $25 Million over 20 years toward this project.

As the centerpiece of an extensive $300 million, 18-acre mixed-use project along Abbott Drive, the soccer stadium will serve as the new home for Union Omaha, Nebraska’s only professional soccer team, and seat up to 7,500 spectators with standing room and other accommodations for more fans.

This strategic initiative not only aims to invigorate economic growth but also

contributes to the dynamic evolution of downtown Omaha.

“The continuing private interest in developing downtown Omaha benefits the entire city,” said Mayor Jean Stothert. “Union Omaha Soccer will join the long list of successful venues and attractions in our urban core. Our role is to be a good partner as this exciting sports development gets underway.”

Union Omaha president Martie Cordaro said the stadium will serve as a catalyst for the advancement of soccer at all levels, from a youth academy to high-school and college matches to professional matches, providing a platform for athletes to showcase their talents on a regional and national stage.

“The stadium will serve as a hub for community engagement, hosting many community events and programs every year,” Cordaro said.

Union Omaha is currently playing matches at Werner Park in Papillion, sharing the park with the Omaha Storm Chasers, the Triple-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. The new downtown stadium will allow expansion of the sport of soccer with the future addition of a women’s soccer team and a youth academy.

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