A soccer stadium on the site of Bremerton’s old East High?

Robin Waite, owner of Kitsap’s new soccer franchise, the Pumas, brought a very interesting proposal to a joint meeting of the Bremerton School Board and the Bremerton City Council Thursday night.

Waite, whose team will begin playing games at Bremerton Memorial Stadium in May, wants to develop a soccer stadium on the site of the old Bremerton Junior High/East High School on Wheaton Way.

Waite envisions retaining the school’s gym and the buildings to be renovated and turned into offices. A commercial strip could be developed closer to Wheaton Way.

He circulated photos of a soccer stadium built in Stavanger, Norway, (where his daughter lives.) Within just a few years of that city’s stadium opening, a thriving commercial area developed around it, he said. Waite would lease the property from the district for the stadium, creating revenue for schools, he said.

As the city and school folks looked at the pictures, Waite quipped: “Now I know we are at least as smart as the Norwegians.”

School board member Pat Jones, equally as quick, shot back, “I don’t know, they eat a lot of lutefisk.”

Waite said he expects the Pumas to outgrow Bremerton Memorial Stadium. “I expect our team to go from where it is now all the way to Division I.”

School board President Cynthia Galloway said she favored the idea of a public-private partnership that resulted in income.

School board member Louis Mitchell called it “intriguing” and added that the district would need to make sure it could enter into a development-type relationship. Jones added that the district was prevented by state law from developing the valuable old Manette school site.

“We’d have to get the lawyers involved,” he said.

City of Bremerton Community Development Director Andrea Spencer told the group that Waite’s proposal is just the type of thing the city is seeking in its plans to transform Bremerton. The stadium and surrouding businesses could become a walkable amenity for neighbors.

Waite asked school board members for permission to continue to research the project. They agreed to put the matter on a future agenda for a vote of the full board. School board members Vicki Collins and DeWayne Boyd were absent.

2 thoughts on “A soccer stadium on the site of Bremerton’s old East High?

  1. My parents, George and Irma Clifton started soccer with the
    Manette kids in the 60’s. Later when I went to East High,
    the school did absolutely nothing to field a team from 1973
    thru 1977. In fact when I was a kid, Paul Marcello from the Port
    Orchard area on his own dime fielded a kids team and we played
    kids in the Tacoma area. This is over 40 years ago.

    Talking about getting a field, hell we had to go elsewhere
    just to get a game………Claus Sprocket” Clifton

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