JAX USL says it hopes to have the location for its stadium finalized in early 2023.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — There is a desire for professional soccer in Jacksonville. It’s something that’s been missing for years.
“I remember when the Armada (pro team) was active in Jacksonville and having that excitement for the sport was huge,” Jacksonville native, Eric Washington, said.
The World Cup generates a buzz every four years, but this year it comes as pro soccer is in the early stages of returning to Jacksonville.
“We had a study done by Nielsen that suggests there’s over a quarter million people in the Jacksonville DMA that have an interest in soccer so it’s really incumbent on us to go out and connect with those people,” said JAXUSL President Steve Livingstone.
The USL Championship is one of the most successful professional soccer leagues in the world, reaching a population of more than 84 million and fueling the growth of the game across North America.
JAXUSL says it close to finding a location for its stadium and is discussing all options when it comes to local counties.
Chief Marketing Officer, Tony Allegretti, was able to share more details about the actual stadium itself.
“It will not have a retractable roof, we do want to have covered seats, we do know that we want to have about 15,000 capacity.” Allegretti said. “That may not mean necessarily 15,000 seats. But, there are some clear things we want we also want to make sure that it’s a hub for the community and we have some other uses around the stadium that it’s a real community asset.”
JAXUSL will bring top level pro soccer back to Jacksonville, but with it comes an investment in the local community.
“We want to create this pathway to professionalism all the way up from recreational level to elite soccer into professional ranks.” Livingstone said.
“I come from a city back in Scotland that has about the same number of people as Jacksonville we’ve got six pro soccer clubs in the area, two big ones. That was 100 years ago, we’ve got a bit of catching up to do, but there’s no reason that Jacksonville can’t be a pro soccer market.”
“What JAXUSL plans to do with youth soccer in particular is incredibly interesting and it’s very exciting to watch that development of the sport in the area.” Washington said.
JAX USL will bring top level pro soccer back to Jacksonville but with it comes an added bonus of investment in the local community.
“We want to create this pathway to professionalism all the way up from recreational level to elite soccer into professional ranks,” said Livingstone.
“What Jax USL plans to do with youth soccer in particular is incredibly interesting and it’s very exciting to watch that development of the sport in the area.”