Professional soccer, new concert venue coming to Milwaukee as part of new Iron District MKE development

NOW: Professional soccer, new concert venue coming to Milwaukee as part of new Iron District MKE development

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Marquette University announced it has sold an 11-acre parcel of land that will be developed into a vibrant sports and entertainment district, with a soccer stadium as its centerpiece, which will be home to a professional soccer team.

Marquette purchased the land in 2014 and 2015 and is located to the northeast of the Marquette Interchange, MU sold it to Bear Development who, together with Kacmarcik Enterprises, will redevelop it.

The land is bordered by N. 6th Street to the east, Michigan Street to the north and the Marquette Interchange to the west and south.

Plans for the comprehensive district include the development of a stadium, which will be home to a professional soccer club, an indoor concert venue, a full-service hotel, multi-family residential housing, retail and food and beverage elements.

"We're taking essentially what's a blank parcel and turning it into a really dynamic sports and entertainment district," said Cono Caloa with Kacmarcik Enterprises.

The centerpiece of the proposed district is the 8,000-seat-stadium, which will serve as the home to a professional soccer team.

"Milwaukee is one of largest markets without pro soccer and it's a market that's overdue to have a professional soccer team," Caloa said.

Kacmarcik Enterprises is an organization that already has experience leading soccer franchises, including Forward Madison FC and Green Bay Voyageurs FC.

"With our background in doing pro-soccer in Madison we have great confidence in our ability to work with the community to launch a great project here in Milwaukee," Caloa said.

The concert venue aspect of the project will be part of the Pabst Theater Group.

"It's exciting to be involved in anything building anything new but it's even more exciting when it's a transformative project like this that can do so much good for the city," Pabst Theater Group CEO Gary Witt told CBS 58.

The venue will have space for 3,500 people and be general admission with limited seating.

"That opportunity will be able to allow us to access artists that might not want to play a seated performance in that time through the market," Witt said.

Leaders of the development hope the project will be community-driven, including when establishing the future soccer team's identity.

"This is going to be the community's team," Caloa said. "This isn't our team. The community is going to own this team, the community is going to name this team, the community is going to decide what this team is and what it means for Milwaukee."

Details on the team's league affiliation will be announced at a later date.

The Marquette University men's and women's soccer and lacrosse team will play competitions at the new stadium and continue to practice at Valley facilities on the MU campus.

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