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USL soccer stadium to be completed by March

Preparations were underway Tuesday for the construction of a new 9,700 seat soccer stadium in Edinburg.

The stadium will be located less than a mile east of U.S. 281 at the intersection of Raul Longoria Road and Freddy Gonzalez Drive on the former Super Splash Adventure water park property.

Last month, the United Soccer League (USL) awarded its 25th franchise to Alonzo Cantu, owner of the NBA Development League Rio Grande Valley Vipers. The club, known as RGVFC, will serve as the hybrid affiliate of the Houston Dynamo.

Demolition of the water park has been ongoing for the past few month. Dump trucks have hauled away dirt to level the playing field.

"It means new economic activity, a new destination, not just for Edinburg but the Valley, it means quality of life for us, said Edinburg City Manager Ramiro Garza.

The city is currently in the process of drafting an agreement with RGVFC.

The city has not released any numbers, but has made a verbal commitment to help finance some of the costs of running the stadium in the future as well as make some improvements to tie the new soccer complex into the existing municipal park.

"We are not increasing taxes, the development company is building it first and the city would reimburse it based on improvements that need to be made," Garza said.

But the stadium will host much more than soccer.

"We will be happy to host some football games and for sure some concerts," said RGV Vipers President Bert Garcia.

Something that pleases both soccer fans and those who aren't.

"I personally am not a soccer fan, but I would go just to support it, so I think it's cool, said Edinburg resident Michael Gomez. I also hear something about outside concerts, that's another cool thing."

The stadium will host about 16 to 20 soccer games a year.

"We are hoping to attract local talent to play as part of our team and one day see them in the MLS and have them say it all started in the Rio Grande Valley, Garcia said.

The stadium is expected to be completed in about six months, just in time for the next season starting on March 2016.

I will never question our owner, he TMs done a lot of projects within the time people do not expect it, Garcia said of Cantu.

The name of the team has not yet been decided, but Garcia says it will be decided on and revealed by the end of the month.

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