NCFC, NC Courage CEO believes stadium is needed for Raleigh to become a 'great city'

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- For Raleigh to be a great city, the owner of the NC Football Club and North Carolina Courage believes the city needs to build an entertainment district south of downtown.

The district would also include a 20,000 seat soccer stadium.

Steve Malik is one of the developers of the new "Downtown South" project. Malik also happens to own the NCFC and the North Carolina Courage.

ABC11 sat down with Malik days after he sold part of his medical data platform company, Medfusion for $43 million on Thursday.

"Having a little extra capital doesn't hurt in a world where you're trying to build a $2 billion development," he said. "If we want to take our place as one of the next, great cities in this country, we need to get that done and now is a great time to do it."

He and his fellow developers wanted $13 million per year for the next 20-25 years from local governments to pay for the debt service and maintenance but he said that's off the table now. That money would have to come from the Wake County room occupancy and prepared food and beverage taxes.

"You can't build something in today's environment without addressing the affordable workforce and all different kinds of housing," he said. "You must be in partnership with the public to do this and I think there are just some people that are against everything."

Some studies show the project would mean nearly $4 billion in economic activity for Wake County in the next 15 years.

"We're a city that's very attractive but if we want to continue to be that way, it doesn't happen without planning and aforethought," Malik said, adding that he believes a stadium is needed to lure an MLS team.

He also believes this new stadium would go hand in hand with the PNC Arena.

"I think PNC has been a great boon for us economically and to have an NHL team has been great," he said. "They are not in conflict with each other and I don't like how people wanted to pin each of us against one another. We're talking about billions of dollars of economic impact, more than 5,500 jobs to an area of town that needs it and one that hasn't shared in the economic growth equally with the rest of the city."

The city and county are in the process of conducting their own feasibility study-- Malik says that should come out in the first quarter of 2020.
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