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Columbia Business Monthly

New 8,100-Seat Soccer Stadium Proposed at Mauldin’s BridgeWay Station

Jan 20, 2022 05:00PM ● By David Dykes

(Rendering: McMillan, Pazdan Smith Architects and Greenville Triumph SC)

By David Dykes And Donna Isbell Walker 

A proposed public-private partnership would develop a $38.6 million multipurpose stadium project at BridgeWay Station in Mauldin to house the Greenville Triumph professional soccer club, and host 150 or more concerts, festivals, and community events each year.

Under the proposal, the 8,100-seat stadium and multiuse event venue would be owned by Greenville County and host soccer matches and other sports such as lacrosse, rugby, and championship-level high school football.

As envisioned, the stadium would serve as a home for soccer in the Upstate and host United Soccer League playoffs and championships, high school and youth soccer matches, international soccer exhibition matches, U.S. Soccer Open Cup matches, and NCAA conference tournaments and national championships. 

Greenville County Council’s finance committee on Thursday Jan. 20, 2022, said it would consider a resolution authorizing County Administrator Joe Kernell to negotiate terms of an agreement with the city of Mauldin “and other parties” for development of what is known as Project Kick.

Mauldin’s City Council, at a special called council meeting Jan. 10, 2022, met in executive session and  unanimously authorized City Administrator Brandon Madden to begin negotiations on Project Kick, according to minutes of the meeting. 

Joe Erwin, a Greenville businessman and the Triumph’s team chairman and lead owner, acknowledged he has been “in ongoing discussions” with members of the Mauldin City Council and the Greenville County Council regarding a site for a proposed multiuse stadium. 

“We look forward to continuing to provide information, answering their questions and listening to their ideas,” Erwin says.

Erwin is co-founder and former president of national marketing agency Erwin Penland and co-founder of Clemson University's Erwin Center for Brand Communications.

As president of Erwin Creates, he created and opened in May 2016 the Greenville coworking space for creative independent agencies, freelancers, and corporate marketing teams known as Endeavor.

The stadium plan calls for the Triumph to build the facility at BridgeWay Station on a six-acre site adjacent to Interstate 385. 

Greenville developer Phil Hughes plans the urban village just south of Butler Road. It will feature residential spaces, offices, shopping, dining, lodging, and entertainment. It will be the first phase of a larger development.

Under the proposal, the stadium land would be conveyed as a donation to the Triumph by Hughes, the developer.

The Triumph then would donate the land, with an estimated value of $6 million, to the county as well as   stadium seating valued at approximately $1.75 million.

Triumph officials have proposed leasing the stadium for 30 years for approximately $350,000 a year, for a total of $10.5 million over the term of the lease. 

Triumph officials hope construction will start in March or April of this year and the stadium will open in time for the 2023 season. 

The club began play in USL League One in 2019 and on April 2, 2022, will begin its quest for a fourth consecutive trip to the USL League One Final. 

The Greenville Triumph Soccer Club also has been announced as a charter member of the USL W League – a pre-professional women's soccer league beginning play in spring of 2022.

In an exclusive interview, Erwin said the Triumph, which has played its home games at Triumph Stadium at Legacy Early College in West Greenville, hasn’t made a profit, and he and team officials have examined several potential stadium sites before narrowing the list to six locations.

Each was vetted “for a number of things,” including one that could mirror The Battery Atlanta, Erwin said.

Anchored by Truist Park, the new home of the Atlanta Braves, The Battery Atlanta is a sports and entertainment experience at the intersection of I-75 and I-285 in the bustling Cumberland area.

The 2-million-square-foot mixed-use destination features some of Atlanta’s most acclaimed chefs and a diverse blend of culinary options. 

Visitors also can sip cocktails from some of the area’s renowned mixologists, shop new styles at unique retailers, bowl a few games or ride a mechanical bull. 

The Battery Atlanta is also home to the Coca-Cola Roxy, where music lovers will find a 4,000-seat venue for all genres of live music.

Braves fans go to the area four hours before a baseball game because there is so much to do, Erwin said.

“That’s what we see BridgeWay Station being,” he said.

Legacy Early College, Erwin said, has been a “win-win” for both the school and the team. But limits on revenue from tickets and parking and constraints on field time for practices were key factors in searching for a new home, he said.      

The new women’s team further adds to scheduling needs, he said.  

The Clemson University Regional Economic Analysis Laboratory conservatively estimates the stadium project would have more than a $270 million economic impact and create 350-400 jobs in its first year.

The proposed project wouldn’t require new taxes, Erwin said. He said one possible financial vehicle would be to use hospitality tax revenue to service bonds for construction.