EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — With the massive Pawtucket soccer stadium development up in the air, Rhode Island FC is starting to look elsewhere ahead of its inaugural season.
Rhode Island FC president Brett Luy acknowledged the questions swirling around the 10,000-seat stadium under construction along the Seekonk River last month. He reassured fans the USL soccer team would start playing games next year, even if the first ball drops somewhere other than Tidewater Landing.
If the stadium isn’t built in time, East Providence Mayor Bob DaSilva tells 12 News he would happily allow the team to play at Pierce Field.
“If they need a place to have their inaugural season, I can’t think of a better place than Pierce Memorial Stadium,” DaSilva said. “It seats up to 6,000 and it’s hosted professional games in the past.”
For DaSilva, the benefits go far beyond the idea of having the team play in East Providence.
“I think it’s great for soccer in general, it’d be great for the community,” he said. “It’s an economic driver and multiplier … I definitely see the benefit of having them.”
DaSilva tells 12 News he’s been in contact with the Rhode Island FC regarding the use of Pierce Field.
“It’s up to them,” he said. “I’d love to sit down and show them the facility and work out any type of agreement that we can.”
12 News reached out to Cranston Mayor Ken Hopkins regarding the possibility of Cranston Stadium hosting games as well.
In a statement, a city spokesperson said Hopkins has “floated the idea … with little specificity.”
“This has yet to be discussed in any depth, and it would need to be properly reviewed and approved by the city council and other appropriate parties should the idea progress,” the spokesperson said.
12 News reached out to Rhode Island FC regarding the stadiums they’re considering using should Tidewater Landing not be ready in time, but has yet to hear back.