Fort Worth City Council members traveled to Spain in April to talk with FC Barcelona officials about bringing their brand of soccer to the city as part of a proposed multiuse stadium project. During the trip, Council Members (from left) Michael Crain, Cary Moon, Jared Williams and Chris Nettles attended a playoff match between Eintracht Frankfurt and Barcelona. (Courtesy Cary Moon)
The vote is part of Fort Worth’s continued efforts to determine whether building the stadium complex in partnership with Keller ISD and two United Soccer League teams is feasible.
Negotiations with various entities are ongoing, and no decision has been made on the stadium.
The board agreed to contract with the Gensler architectural firm to develop the conceptual design and cost estimates. Also part of the vote was approval to contract with civil engineering firm Dunaway to work with Gensler on estimated infrastructure expenses.
The recommended budget for these studies is $300,000, according to a staff memo as part of the May 10 meeting. The studies will be funded by the Fort Worth Sports Authority.
“Today’s decision means that we are conservatively considering the idea,” board President Leonard Firestone said after the vote. “It’s appealing, but we’re trying to be disciplined about the process and give it a lot of thought and really understand the economics of it as an asset of the city effectively [and] how it’s going to serve the community.”
Firestone is also a Fort Worth City Council member serving District 7.
The Fort Worth Sports Authority board is appointed by City Council. Its members, which act on behalf of the city, have taken the lead on studying the stadium project.
The Fort Worth Sports Authority also funded a market and financial feasibility study on the multiuse stadium project that was completed in March. That study calculated the project’s total economic impact to the city over two years of construction followed by three decades of operation to be $409.69 million.
Gensler is the same architectural firm behind the Dallas Cowboys world headquarters and practice facility in Frisco. That stadium complex was also a public-private partnership among the NFL team, the city of Frisco and Frisco ISD.
The United Soccer League is the second tier of professional soccer in the nation behind Major League Soccer. This year’s league had 28 USL Championship men’s teams. The USL Super League women’s teams are expected to launch in August 2023. Fort Worth’s stadium project proposes having both a men’s team and a women’s team based there.
Fort Worth City Council Member Cary Moon, who represents District 4, has been working to bring a multiuse stadium to the city for more than three years. He is also on the board of the Fort Worth Sports Authority.
He and three other council members traveled in April to visit with FC Barcelona officials about bringing their brand to Fort Worth to oversee all levels of soccer. That is another component of the overall proposal, Moon said.
Some detailed negotiations still need to take place before a stadium can become a reality, Moon said.
“If everybody puts their best effort forward, Fort Worth should have a very big win,” he said.