The Austin City Council has approved a resolution to direct staff to evaluate city-owned land for an Austin MLS stadium, an early step in the effort to lure Columbus Crew SC.
Crew SC owner Anthony Precourt continues to consider a potential relocation of his club to Austin, where a new privately-financed stadium would be constructed. On Thursday, the Austin City Council discussed a resolution that would allow staff to begin the process of evaluating city-owned land, including underutilized park space, that could be used for a stadium project.
That vote was an early step in the process, but it was the nonetheless viewed as a major factor in the ongoing discussions to bring Crew SC to the city. The council was expected to approve the resolution, and ultimately did so unanimously after adding a few amendments to the legislation. More from The Austin American-Statesman:
Although passing the initial resolution was a clear victory for the Precourt-initiated MLS2ATX push, council members debated some wording and even voted at one point on striking any mention of the Crew or Precourt from the resolution. That effort failed 7-3.
“I want to keep the door open for anybody who wants to bring a team to Austin,” council member Leslie Pool said.
Council member Ora Houston, who presides over an East Austin district, agreed and said, “I would like to expand the area to include the Travis County Expo Center,” and she called on Foley to speak again about his project, which is not affiliated with PSV.
Ultimately, Mayor Steve Adler came up with a compromise that satisfied everyone, including the phrase “and any other MLS teams” that want to move to Austin after mention of the Crew.
Other amendments included language that allows the city to expand the search beyond the urban core, and another that stipulates that city funds not go toward the construction of the stadium. A report is expected to be presented to the city council in December. Crew SC is slated to spend the 2018 season at its current home, Columbus’s MAPFRE Stadium.
Photo by Matthew Bernhardt, via flickr.com.
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