Briefly

Union Omaha pro soccer team owners to announce new development

By: - January 24, 2024 12:30 pm

Union Omaha soccer players celebrate a previous win at Werner Stadium. (Courtesy of Union Omaha)

OMAHA — The owners of Union Omaha, who have been looking to build a new Omaha soccer stadium, plan to make a formal announcement Thursday.

Alliance Sports founders have called a news conference at Omaha City Hall, accompanied by officials including Mayor Jean Stothert, State Sen. Mike McDonnell of Omaha and Greater Omaha Chamber president Heath Mello.

The media advisory does not offer specifics, but it says Alliance will host the media event to “provide important updates and announcements.” Representatives of the soccer team could not immediately be reached Wednesday for comment.

An exact location for a potential stadium for the professional soccer team has not been publicly disclosed up to this point. But franchise officials have said that the downtown Omaha area would be ideal. They say their demographic information shows that Omaha metro soccer fans live predominantly east of 72nd Street.

Just about four years old now, the Owls team has used Werner Park in Sarpy County as its home field. That baseball park — home to the Omaha Storm Chasers minor league baseball team — was seen as not viable in the future for the USL League One team representing a sport growing in popularity.

The Nebraska Examiner reported in January 2023 that Union Omaha hoped to build an outdoor stadium in the downtown area that would be accompanied by housing, perhaps a hotel and other entertainment amenities.

At the time, McDonnell had proposed legislation, which is still pending, to direct up to $50 million in state funds for such an effort. 

Another McDonnell bill would amend the Sports Arena Facility Financing Assistance Act to allow a stadium project such as one envisioned by Union Omaha to benefit from state “turnback tax” financing. That bill also was carried over to this legislative session.

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Cindy Gonzalez
Cindy Gonzalez

Senior Reporter Cindy Gonzalez, an Omaha native, has more than 35 years of experience, largely at the Omaha World-Herald. Her coverage areas have included business and real estate development; regional reporting; immigration, demographics and diverse communities; and City Hall and local politics.

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