Plans for a new Austin stadium have been included in East Austin District, a proposed complex unveiled by Austin Sports & Entertainment.
Led by co-founders Sean Foley and Andrew Nestor, Austin Sports & Entertainment is partnering with Rodeo Austin to pitch City of Austin and Travis County officials on the proposal. As has been envisioned, East Austin District would include a new 40,000-seat open-air stadium that is capable of hosting soccer. The stadium, adjacent to a new 15,000-seat arena that would be used by Rodeo Austin, would be part of a larger complex that could serve as a replacement for the Travis County Exposition Center. While no firm cost estimate has been released, local officials have thus far shown some interest for the proposal.
Details on the plan are emerging at a point where Austin is in the midst of a pursuit of an MLS franchise, as Columbus Crew SC owner Anthony Precourt is considering moving his club to the city. Some Austin officials believe that the location of East Austin District would be good for soccer, but the stadium included in that proposal is not contingent on an MLS club, and the effort surrounding Crew SC is said to be on a different track. More from the Austin American-Statesman:
“This location is at the apex of three major highways — (U.S.) 290, (U.S.) 183 and (Texas) 130 — so it’s easily accessible,” [Austin City Council Member Ora Houston] said. “I think soccer would be a great fit there.”
Precourt Sports Ventures, which operate Columbus Crew SC, is exploring a move to Austin. It has a strong preference for a stadium in the urban core and has had almost no contact with Austin Sports & Entertainment.
Nestor said building the stadium is not dependent on luring an MLS team, although he acknowledged it would make sense.
Austin Mayor Steve Adler acknowledged that PSV and ASE are on different tracks. “I’ve advised everybody to talk to one another,” he said. “Early indications from the league and ownership are they want a more centrally located facility.”
In addition to the new arena and stadium, the East Austin District would come with several other features. Its other amenities would include medical facilities, offices, convention space, retail, courtyard areas, and retail.
As for the Crew SC’s pursuit, the Austin City Council passed a resolution in November to direct staff to evaluate publicly-owned for the possible site of an MLS stadium. A report is expected to be presented on December 14.
Rendering courtesy Austin Sports & Entertainment.
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