Plans for a new USL League One team based in Corpus Christi, Texas took off on Tuesday when the city council approved a five-year incentive contract between the city and Next Sports Co. for $ 1.85 million.
An investment group led by Dr. Kingsley Okonkwo, owner of Next Sports Co., has plans to build a $ 17.2 million sports complex that will include a 5,000-seat football stadium on Old Brownsville Road near South Padre Island Drive is located.
“We have confidence in Next Sports Co.’s ability to develop the proposed multi-million dollar sports complex,” said Peter Zanoni, manager of Corpus Christi City. “Company owner Dr. Kingsley Okonkwo has come up with a credible funding plan for it.”
Corpus Christi FC is currently a member of the USL League Two and finished second in the league’s Mid-South Division in 2019. The club is aiming for a move similar to that of the current League One teams Tucson FC and South Georgia Tormenta FC, both of which were formed as League Two clubs before being promoted to the professional ranks for the inaugural League One season.
“Corpus Christi would be a great home for a professional football team,” said league spokesman Scott Stewart. “It’s a fantastic community that has already shown hunger after the game.”
According to Zanoni, the incentive agreement is a risk-free commitment for the city as it only reimburses the developer after the infrastructure is built and jobs are created.
In addition to the main venue, the facility would have eight multi-purpose fields for soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, flag soccer, and cheerleading for children and adults. The center is expected to create nearly 50 full-time positions and is expected to attract up to 25 youth tournaments per year from 2022, which could potentially bring enough visitors to occupy 25,000 hotel rooms each year.