EDINBURG — At the northwest corner of H-E-B Park, a towering iron framework juts out from the existing stadium seating. On the south side, a 3,600-square-foot concrete pad is outfitted to have electricity and running water flow through out — the type of setup that would enable vendors or musical acts to use it as a stage.

EDINBURG — At the northwest corner of H-E-B Park, a towering iron framework juts out from the existing stadium seating. On the south side, a 3,600-square-foot concrete pad is outfitted to have electricity and running water flow through out — the type of setup that would enable vendors or musical acts to use it as a stage.

Between the two end points is a 9,700-seat stadium, designed primarily to house the USL’s RGV FC Toros, who played their first home exhibition game Wednesday and will open their regular season Sunday. But the facility’s potential for expansion and entertainment reaches far beyond soccer.

“A lot of this is privately funded, so I’m not sure we could just house it for soccer,” RGV FC president Bert Garcia said of the project, which was funded by club owner Alonzo Cantu. “So for us, that part of doing multiple events is first and foremost in the forefront of our minds. How else can we bring in more entertainment to the Valley? That’s always been thought about and talked about, and now we’re trying to plan.”

Garcia spoke of bringing “A-list” acts to the Valley. He has designs on hosting at least one concert this summer, ideally with one in July and one in August. He said the stadium ownership has been in conversations with nationally recognized names like Live Nation and Anschutz Entertainment Group, as well as local promoters.

One of the biggest draws for a potential performer would be seating, Garcia said. The largest entertainment venue in the area, H-E-B Park offers 9,700 in fixed seating, plus potentially a couple thousand more on the field itself.

Even without the stadium available, the 40-acre H-E-B Park property helped host about 15,000 people for Fiesta Edinburg at its amphitheater and multiple pavilion areas, in conjunction with the adjacent municipal park.

“I think we have the makings of a really good master plan event-type center for outdoor activities,” executive director of the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation Gus Garcia said. “So yeah, I think we’re going to start seeing a lot more planned activities out there from a regional standpoint.”

The stadium’s 9,700 seats are designed with comfort in mind, with 22 inches by 17 inches of knee space — a few inches larger than a typical stadium. H-E-B Park has 28 suites with 16 seats each, including six open-air patio suites, all raised about 36 inches above field level for a better viewing experience. All but two of them are sold for the season — a setup that allows owners to customize the interior.

Underneath a 48-by-24-foot high definition video board is a 360 bar, which Garcia said can be accessed independently of opening the full stadium to facilitate beer festivals or corporate outings. Atop the video board is a point-source speaker box, custom made to suit the acoustics of the made to suit the acoustics of the venue.

Around the stadium are five concession stands with 65 points of sale. Even the field itself is designed to fill multiple purposes, with what Garcia calls a state-of-the-art drainage system that can have the field ready for play in just 45 minutes following up to 24 hours of rain. The setup also enables an easy cleaning process after a concert or other event.

“There are so many wonderful and beautiful things about this,” Bert Garcia said.

The size and scope of the venue increased from when the original plans were announced. The improvements brought seating from 6,500 to 9,700, the amount of suites from 10 to 28 and the number of locker rooms from two to four.

The additional locker room space allows for multiple bands or multiple soccer teams to occupy the stadium at the same time for a large-scale event. The shift also opens up for the possibility of football at the venue. H-E-B Park’s Raul Longoria Road address is less than four miles from UTRGV, where a football feasibility study is ongoing.

“They mentioned possible sites and possible stadiums, and why not us?” Garcia said. “Conversations have been had. But we need to see what their needs and requirements are, and hopefully we can meet them.”

One requirement of Division I football is averaging 15,000 in actual or paid attendance over a rolling two-year period.

Though H-E-B Park falls short as currently constructed, the framework already exists on the northwest corner to close off half of the stadium with more seating.

“If we ever were to think about maybe coming into play with Division I football, we need to enclose it to fit 24 or 25. It is expandable, as well,” Garcia said. “You can enclose it on one end and make it up to that level of stadium.”

Originally, H-E-B Park was scheduled to be ready for RGV FC’s home opener on April 30, 2016. But, citing inclement weather and the upgrades to the venue, that timetable was pushed back again and again until the season ended without the Toros ever using their home arena. Home games were played either at UTRGV or the H-E-B Park practice fields.

Garcia said he didn’t notice any backlash or “harsh feelings” from ticketholders, who saw the stadium’s progress week by week. The delay allowed the Toros to build fan support in smaller venues before the full-scale stadium launch this season.

“To me, it was perfect, because it continued to grow and grow and grow,” Garcia said. “In the playoff game, you could tell there was a lot of passion beyond that playoff game. … Our attendance was growing and growing and growing.”

As recently as Monday, the finishing touches were still being put on the facility, including the construction of an entrance canopy. Garcia said crews had been working until 10 or 11 p.m. each night to ensure everything was completed ahead of Wednesday’s exhibition.

Gus Garcia said the facility was worth the wait, and that it will “take soccer to a new level in the Rio Grande Valley.”

“I’d rather they do it right and take their time than rush it,” Gus Garcia said. “I don’t think that hurts their credibility at all, to be honest with you.”

Houston Dynamo assistant general manager/director of soccer operations Nick Kowba said the stadium exceeds expectations, looking like a small-scale version of some of the newest and best MLS stadiums. He called it the “crown jewel of the USL.”

RGV FC coach Junior Gonzalez, who was an assistant coach in the USL with Seattle Sounders FC 2 last season, said the stadium is “amazing.”

“It’s one of the top stadiums in the country, especially for a USL,” Gonzalez said. “And it has the capability of, if you close this thing, it could easily be as good as any MLS stadium in the country. So we’re excited to play here.”

Kowba said the original intention was for the Dynamo to open the stadium with RGV FC last season, and that the organization would have no hesitation coming to Edinburg for preseason games or training camps.

As for the delay, Kowba was pleased that the Toros still had facilities that met minimum standards and created an environment that fostered player growth and development. The Toros and Dynamo operate as hybrid affiliates, meaning soccer operations are managed by the Houston Dynamo, while business operations are handled locally by the team’s owners.

“If you asked me, ‘Am I surprised the stadium is opening now, versus last year around this time?’ A little bit,” Kowba said. “But I completely understand. That’s part of being associated and under this certain agreement with them — that we’re trying to help each other. As long as each side is doing their best and we’re working together for common goals, we’re more than happy. We’re very excited about the stadium opening, and I think the Valley is in for a treat.”

With the popularity of soccer in the region and the success of the Toros, Bert Garcia said he could see H-E-B Park selling out for certain games.

Last year, RGV FC finished 14-7-9, good for second place in the Western Conference.

“I think the Valley needs this,” Bert Garcia said. “The Valley wants this. I just hope the Valley supports it now.”

If You Go

H-E-B Park (RGV FC Stadium), 1616 S. Raul Longoria Road, Edinburg