Soccer stadium project gets go-ahead

Soccer stadium project gets go-ahead

A rendering of the new soccer stadium on Pawtucket’s riverfront. Taft Street would be in the foreground.

PAWTUCKET – After unanimous approval of a preliminary plan for a new soccer stadium by both the City Planning Commission and Riverfront Commission last week, representatives for development, Fortuitous Partners, marked the occasion by reminding people that this project is right around the corner.

“The project continues to move forward with groundbreaking for the stadium slated for this fall,” said representatives from Fortuitous Partners.

The Planning Commission gave conditional approval to an 11,000-seat multi-use stadium, a public plaza, and walkway along the Seekonk River, among other amenities, as well as a tentative interim parking management plan. As previously reported, the developers are planning to utilize a parking app to help patrons find their way to reserved spots around the downtown.

Dan Kroeber, of Fortuitous, as well as representatives from various companies Fortuitous is working with, were all there to discuss various aspects of the project, including traffic.

Approvals mean the developers can move forward with the stadium part of phase one riverfront development first, including a beer garden, food hall, and other attractions.

Fortuitous can now seek various permitting for the project, which is centered on the arrival of a United Soccer League Championship team by spring of 2023, as well as other events on a year-round basis.

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Phase 1 of the $300 million development plan includes the stadium, riverwalk, pedestrian bridge over the Seekonk River, parking garage and parking lots, hundreds of residential units, and commercial spaces. Though the bridge is not part of this first part of the project, Fortuitous representatives say they’re committed to building it to connect portions of the project located on both sides of the river.

Assistant Planning Director Jay Rosa said at last week’s meeting that the project checks off a lot of city priorities, including connecting the downtown, economic development, opening up the riverfront for people to access it, and cleaning up the environment.

Public investment into this project is expected to be about 20 percent of the overall cost. Phase 2 includes a hotel and indoor event center on the opposite side of the river from the stadium, on Division Street.