FORT WORTH, Texas — Meander along the intersection of Interstate 35W and Basswood Boulevard in far north Fort Worth, and you’ll find a big vacant lot.
It could potentially be turned into a world class pro soccer stadium and a youth sports complex with 20 fields.
City councilmembers recently voted to keep exploring the possibility of building a soccer stadium. During the Tuesday meeting, several councilmembers advocated for building an accompanying youth soccer complex, which would host tournaments and serve as a place for children to learn and play the sport.
Building a minor league soccer stadium is an ambitious idea that District 4 councilmember Cary Moon is pushing for.
“It’s exciting times,” Moon told WFAA. “Our goal is to make Fort Worth synonymous to soccer.”
Jason Sands, executive director of the Fort Worth Sports Commission, told WFAA that the city has already conducted extensive studies to examine how the facilities would serve the city’s infrastructure.
“The city is evaluating both the pro side and doing the stadium with Donnie Nelson and then also the youth complex,” Sands said.
The location of the two facilities is still fluid, and whether the two facilities would be built on the same plot of land is still undecided.
Sands said the results of a consultant assessment revealed that the city is in need of a youth sports complex.
“Our city is one of the fastest-growing cities in the country,” Sands said. “Our infrastructure, when it came to youth sports complexes, was so far below the average and we need to get a lot of different facilities.”
Beyond serving as a place for children in the community to play soccer, Sands said the facilities would boost the city economically.
A 2019 study from the Fort Worth Sports Commission estimated that a 20-field complex youth complex alone would pour $16 million into the city each year and attract more than 650,000 visitors.
Moon is proposing to build the stadium through the use of tax increment financing.
“The tax impact is the number one concern, and our goal is to make sure that there’s no tax increase,” Moon said. “I think we, as a city, could have this built by 2024… hopefully no later than 2025 and we definitely will have it built in plenty of time for the 2026 World Cup soccer."
The recent March Madness games at Dickies arena drew large crowds, and if the two soccer facilities come to fruition, even more entertainment could be on the way for Cowtown.