October 3, 2022

Port Covington. Rendered courtesy of Sagamore Development.

A 10,000-seater football stadium could be coming to Port Covington, according to the results of a feasibility study commissioned by Mayor Brandon Scott.

The Maryland Stadium Authority voted 4-0 on Tuesday to explore the feasibility of building a football stadium somewhere in the city of Baltimore and to make the Port Covington renewal neighborhood one of the areas under consideration.

The vote came after Al Tyler, vice-chairman of the stadium authority’s capital projects development group, told the board Scott had requested the study and the state was paying a third of the cost. of the study.

Tyler said Scott did not have a specific site in mind for the stadium but wanted Port Covington to be considered.

“The stadium will host an organization by the name of Right To Dream as its anchor tenant,” Tyler said. “Right to Dream follows an academy-style model that uses soccer as a means of providing educational and athletic opportunities to underprivileged children. It’s very similar to the…IMG Academy,” a boarding school in Bradenton, Florida that offers academic courses and sports training.

The academy “operates on a campus, which typically includes residential and academic buildings as well as a multi-purpose stadium,” Tyler said. “The other thing the stadium is supposed to host is a men’s and women’s USL [United Soccer League] professional team that Right to Dream has the exclusive rights to operate.

The City of Baltimore and Right to Dream “envision that the residential and college buildings will be privately funded and they envision the stadium being publicly funded, owned and operated by the stadium authority,” Tyler told the state board of directors.

“This study includes market analysis and research related to professional football and the USL in Baltimore to see what this activity would generate as well as what any other type of general purpose and general purpose activity would generate in Baltimore as well as an operational and analysis of the economic impact of owning and operating a new stadium in the city of Baltimore,” so that state officials have information about the impacts the project would have, a- he explained.

The study will cost $62,000. Tyler said the city of Baltimore and private funding sources would cover two-thirds of the cost of the study, or about $41,333, and Scott asked the stadium authority to pay the other third, or about $20,667. Members were informed that public funds were available to pay for the study in the fiscal year which began July 1.

Tyler pointed out that the mayor had no specific urban site in mind for the football stadium, except that he wanted Port Covington to be considered.

“It’s not otherwise site-specific,” Tyler said. “There is a potential site that the folks at Right to Dream and the City of Baltimore are talking about in Port Covington. However, this is not a site-specific effort, other than that of the City of Baltimore. »

Port Covington is a former industrial area in southern Baltimore that is being transformed into a mixed-use community with housing, offices, retail, and recreational activities. The largest parcel is a 235 acre parcel with land already targeted for recreational and open space.

Tyler gave no cost estimate for the stadium and said it was unclear at this point how much land would be needed for the stadium and surrounding campus. He said the study and “stadium style” will help determine the amount of pitch needed.

Agreeing to work on the study does not in itself represent a commitment to go ahead with the project or take a stake, he added.

Ed Gunts