Wizards clear last hurdle in plans for new stadium at old Bannister Mall

The Wizards’ construction of a new, soccer-specific stadium cleared its last major hurdle today.

The Missouri Development Finance Board approved $30 million in tax credits toward The Trails development on the Bannister Mall site, a $1 billion project that would include an 18,500-seat stadium. The Wizards’ ownership group, OnGoal, is investing about 70 percent private money in the complex, which will include a $100 million stadium; 12 tournament quality-soccer fields, 590 hotel rooms; 1,133,000 square feet of mixed-use retail; 1,700,000 square feet of office space and 18,249 parking spaces.

The Wizards hope to move into the new stadium sometime during the 2010 season. They currently are playing at CommunityAmerica Ballpark in Wyandotte County.

"We are very appreciative of the Board coming to this conclusion," Robb Heineman, CEO of Wizards ownership group OnGoal, said. "Our goal would be to start demolition as soon as possible. Obviously our economic situation is improved in a new stadium, so we have every incentive to move the project forward."