SBD/Issue 135/MLS Season Preview

MLS Rapids’ New Dick’s Sporting Goods Park Opens Saturday

The MLS Rapids’ $71M Dick’s Sporting Goods Park opens Saturday for a match against the United, and the 18,000-seat stadium is “projected to be sold out” this week, according to Julie Dunn of the DENVER POST. Rapids season-ticket sales are pacing “three times ahead of last year,” when the Rapids played at Invesco Field at Mile High. Dick’s Sporting Goods is reportedly paying $40M over 20 years for naming rights to the facility; other sponsors include Coca-Cola, Tecate, HealthOne and College Invest. The stadium, designed by K.C.-based HOK Sport, has 20 luxury suites, “about half of which have been sold for the season” at $35,000-45,000. There are also 24 lighted practice fields that cost $17M around the stadium. They are 85% percent sold out for the next five years for use by local leagues (DENVER POST, 4/4).

REVIEW: In Denver, Brian Forbes wrote the “ultra-modern cathedral is the largest soccer-specific complex in North America. The lush field — sunk in the ground — is the most spacious allowed by [FIFA].” The seats are “on top of the action,” and the jagged canopy gives the complex “a distinct skyline.” Rapids coach Fernando Clavijo said, SI’ve been around this country and the world, and I haven’t seen anything like this. This is a first-class complex that can compete with anything in the world” (DENVER POST, 4/1).

Rapids To Open Dick’s Sporting Goods Park Against United

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