MAULDIN, SC (WSPA) – The Greenville Triumph have unveiled plans for a new $38.6 million soccer stadium located at the BridgeWay Station development in Mauldin. The Greenville County Council Finance Committee met Thursday evening to take up a resolution called “Project Kick.”
The committee voted to hold off on making a decision until they received more details on the project’s financing.
“Certainly I don’t question the validity of the project and the positive aspect of the project,” said Greenville County Council member Ennis Fant. “I am concerned regarding fiscal responsibility.”
“I’m still trying to strike a balance on how we can write checks for $30 million for every project that comes across our desk and at the same time we don’t raise taxes,” Fant said.
Dan Tripp, Chairman of the Greenville County Council Finance Committee, said he’s for the project, adding that it would be economic multiplier for the area. Tripp said council still has to look at the pros and cons.
“We have to look at the numbers. We have to look at what they’re asking from us versus the City of Mauldin, versus what they’re going to invest in the deal,” Tripp said.
The committee was discussing a resolution to authorize the county administrator to enter into negotiations with the City of Mauldin and the Greenville Triumph.
“It was put on hold today while people have their questions that need to be answered, we’ll get those questions answered and then we will come back in a couple of weeks and hopefully have vote on that resolution,” said Tripp.
Three seasons and one championship trophy—the Greenville Triumph has given Upstate soccer fans a community unlike any other.
“It’s not just a soccer thing it’s a community thing and so that’s pretty awesome,” Reedy River Riot president and founder Andrew Phillips said.
He was there when the team was first announced.
“We’re just happy to be here and then they bring in John Harkes and they put together such a great product on the field they’ve been to the finals every year that there’s been one,” Phillips said.
After playing on a temporary field since its inception, the Triumph could soon have a new home.
In their first three seasons, the Triumph have played their games at Legacy Early Collegiate in a temporary stadium.
“The return on investment is tremendous so it’s a winner,” team owner Joe Erwin said.
Erwin is excited about the $38.6 million multi-use stadium being proposed in Mauldin.
“We already have a team that is worthy in the Triumph that is played in the finals three times in a row so this gets us another step closer to being able to consider moving up to the highest level in the USL pyramid,” Erwin said.
The Triumph plans to donate land they already own in the area to make it all happen. Plus, they plan to bring upwards of a million dollars of equipment over from the temporary pitch at Legacy Early.
“If the schedule goes the way we would be most helpful to see ago we could get an agreement in principle this spring legalize that and we could see construction begin in late spring,” Erwin said.
The 8,100-seat stadium would be owned by Greenville County and would be located on a six-acre site adjacent to Interstate 385. It would be double the capacity at Legacy Early.
“We looked at all of those little details about how we can get people in and out. That’s a real asset to the BridgeWay Station development, and as I said, and you’re right to ask it, when we studied Battery Atlanta, all of that was part of the formulation. Can one thing lead to more growth with the other thing,” Erwin said.
Erwin says it wouldn’t be just the team’s new home.
“We can play lacrosse on that field, American football on that field, rugby on that field. Heck, we can play ultimate frisbee on the field,” he said.
“It is a sweet spot because we pulled a heat map analysis to show where our ticket buyers come from and they come largely from the Mauldin Simpsonville area, and so for us that is a sweet spot of activity. It’ll help our club grow, which helps the stadium initiative be more successful,” Erwin said.
It would even be big enough to host the U.S. women’s soccer team—something that excites fans like Phillips.
“It’s going to be a very overwhelming experience but it’s one that I just get goosebumps thinking about it now,” he said.
The Triumph said the stadium could host 150 or more events per year, including concerts and festivals. The economic impact for the Upstate is expected to be $270-million and support 350-400 jobs through its first 10 years.
“That’s important to a county like Greenville that’s growing, and you know part of the need in Greenville county as you know, is you got to have more facilities for youth play because our population is going to double in the next 10 to 15 years, so this is important for the kids of Greenville,” Erwin said.
“Over the next 10 years, this project alone has the potential of bringing four to 500 jobs,” said Taft Matney, Mauldin City Council member and chair of Economic Planning & Development Committee. “It’s an exciting prospect.”
“We’re aggressively developing several parts of Mauldin and to talk about Project Kick the way that it was discussed today, and how transformative it’s going to be for all of those economic development projects,” Matney said.
The stadium would take around 12 months to build and could open in time for the 2023 Greenville Triumph season.