Omaha And Nebraska Taxpayers To Put Up Millions For A Minor League Soccer Facility


The money keeps flowing.

The public spending for sports facilities keeps going on and on. This time Omaha, Nebraska politicians have decided to help build a soccer stadium-village to host a minor league men’s soccer team and maybe a minor league women’s soccer team down the road. The venue will be the centerpiece of a $300 million, 18-acre “mixed-use project” and will open in 2026. Alliance Sports, the group that owns Union Omaha of the USL League One which is considered a third tier or Division III league, has already put out the glowing numbers that accompany the usual stadium-village hype and how the community is going to benefit by putting money into a private business. According to an economic impact study from 2021, the stadium would have a “$99 million impact on the State of Nebraska and $168 million to the City of Omaha from the stadium alone.” The development would add a projected $200 million and create 450 new jobs.

The Union Omaha’s ownership group said the 7,000-seat stadium will cost around $60 million to build. Nebraska residents will throw in about $25 million through Nebraska’s Sports Arena Facility Financing Assistance Act which allows municipalities and counties to apply to the Sports Arena Facilities Financing Assistance Board for state assistance. Union Omaha will also be going to Omaha politicians, hand in hat, looking for dollars. That money could come from a gadget called tax-increment financing and an enhanced employment area occupation tax that would bring in $50 million. Tax incremental financing basically means that any taxes generated within the project’s area could be kicked back to project developers instead of going into a municipality’s general fund. Omaha is not big enough to hit the top tier of American soccer, Major League Soccer. But Nebraska politicians are comfortable spending millions of dollars in building a stadium for a third-rate soccer league team.

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The proposed stadium.