A soccer-specific stadium may be unfolding near the heart of Buffalo.
Last week, Upper 90 was allowed to walk the grounds of what Pie Mad LLC owners Damian and Vicky Parker are planning to turn into a yet-to-be-named Pie Mad stadium behind their land at 1216 South Park Avenue in Buffalo.
Pie Mad is a new brand from the Parkers, who’ve established themselves internationally through their work producing pies at the English Pork Pie Company. The Parkers are big fans of the sport, according to a press release, as Vicky Parker has played her entire life in England and the States.
The release claims lofty goals: the field’s size would be full FIFA international and the stadium’s size could “even rival the size of well-known arenas like Red Bull Stadium.” During our time walking the grounds, it was clear the company planned on covered seats and many of the significant amenities necessary at an American professional grounds (including, of course, pies and what goes with them).
They know how big of an undertaking it is, but also know it will move the already-strong reputation of their pies forward. They’ve unveiled a line of pies for nearly every major sports/stadium market across the US and recently amped up their pie production with a line capable of making more than 300 pies per minute.
“Completing this stadium is without a doubt going to be a challenge,” said Damian Parker. “It’s our passion project, but we’re looking to have support from the Buffalo community and the local government on this. It will most definitely be a great opportunity to bring jobs, attention and tourism to this area of the city.”
The Parkers say they’ve been in touch with NPSL side FC Buffalo and, once they’ve completed the stadium, they plan to offer it to the Blitzers as a home field. FC Buffalo currently uses Robert E. Rich All-High Stadium in Buffalo and when reached for comment said they’re fortunate to have All-High but very much support the effort toward a soccer-specific stadium in Western New York.
“Talking with Damian and Vicky, soccer is in their hearts almost as much as pies and their beloved England,” said FC Buffalo co-owner Nick Mendola. “The site is in a very cool location and the opportunities for Buffalo, let alone local soccer, that would come with such a building are almost limitless. We’re humbled they’ve taken an interest in what we’re doing at FC Buffalo.”
The Parkers said they are looking to have some awareness and fundraisers in the future, adding that they’re interesting in speaking with any businesses who would like to help out. As word of the Buffalo Soccer Council begins to spread — more on the organization in a future post — how neat that one of their major aims may be more than conceptual soon?