If introduced and approved, a resolution could lead to city officials considering land options for a possible Austin MLS stadium.
It was recently reported that Columbus Crew SC owner Anthony Precourt is mulling a relocation of the club to Austin. Though Precourt has said that no final decisions have been made, he has offered his vision for a new stadium in Austin, which would see the facility constructed close to downtown or in the urban core, with 10 to 15 acres used for the project.
As this process unfolds, Austin could soon begin evaluating land options. Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo recently revealed that a resolution could be introduced at a meeting in November and, if approved, lead to city officials analyzing possible site options. More from the Austin Monitor:
Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo told the Austin Monitor on Sunday she is working with other City Council members to draft a resolution for the Nov. 9 meeting that would ask city staff to complete an inventory of available city-owned parcels, and conduct an analysis of the possible impacts of having a professional soccer team located in Austin. If that resolution passes, the reports would be due in December.
The resolution would be the latest development following the news that the owner of the Columbus Crew soccer team of Columbus, Ohio, intends to relocate the Major League Soccer franchise to Austin for the 2019 season. Such a move would most likely require the team to play its first season or more at the University of Texas’ Mike A. Myers Stadium, which can seat 20,000 and is able to sell alcoholic beverages, a key revenue source for professional sports teams.
Tovo said the property study would be the first of many steps before establishing any land development agreement between the city and team owner Anthony Precourt, with Travis County and the Austin Independent School District needing to be involved as well.
Crew SC has struggled with low attendance numbers at MAPFRE Stadium, which opened as MLS’s first soccer-specific stadium in 1999 but has since fallen behind the standards set by the league’s newer facilities. The club will play there in 2018, but Precourt has emphasized that a new downtown stadium will be crucial to keeping the organization in Columbus long term.