Major League Soccer Announces Rowan as Potential Site of Future StadiumMarch 20, 2006
Major League Soccer President Mark Abbott and Rowan University President Dr. Donald Farish today announced an agreement that potentially will bring an MLS professional soccer team to South Jersey by 2009.
The agreement gives Rowan excusive rights for 120 days to develop plans for a stadium that would serve as home for an MLS team beginning in 2009. That initiative will help the University proceed with its expansion plans for its West Campus at Rt. 55 and Rt. 322 in Harrison Township and Glassboro.
The Rowan West project will be a public/private partnership that also will include student housing and athletic fields for Rowan University, retail outlets and dining establishments. Expected to be Gloucester County's largest mixed-use commercial and residential construction ever, the project will enable the University to free up space on the main campus in Glassboro for academic buildings, expand its program offerings and accept more students. The Rowan West project also will provide facilities for South Jersey high school athletic competitions, playoffs and championships; serve as a site for conventions and other events; and create new jobs in the region.
"This is a major step for South Jersey, and Rowan University is thrilled to be a part of Major League Soccer's family and all it can mean for, and bring to, our area," Farish said. "We expect the Rowan West project to impact the region?s economy, bring in new ratables, create new jobs and significantly transform the University."
MLS Commissioner Don Garber believes the tie to Rowan will be mutually beneficial.
"Major League Soccer is pleased to have entered into an exclusive negotiating period with Rowan University as the potential site of a soccer-specific stadium and an MLS team," Garber said. "We are excited both by the possibility of helping Rowan extend its educational opportunities and by the prospect of having a new stadium ready for an MLS team as early as 2009. While we recognize that much work needs to be done, this is an encouraging first step in the process toward bringing first-class professional soccer to the area."
The MLS/Rowan agreement requires the University to present a plan for the site that includes a developer and a funding package within 120 days. Funding for the project will depend on the developer chosen. Rowan plans to issue a request for proposals for potential developers shortly.
For more information about the project, visit www.rowan.edu/rowanwest.