Austin Chamber Backs City’s Columbus Crew SC Pursuit

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The effort to bring Columbus Crew SC to Austin has gained a key supporter, as the Austin Chamber of Commerce is backing the city’s pursuit of the club. 

Crew SC owner Anthony Precourt revealed in October that he was exploring a move of the team to Austin, and ever since there has been considerable discussion about the club’s future. Work to find a suitable site for a new stadium continues, as a few previous candidates have been eliminated while Roy G. Guerrero Park and McKalla Place remain among the sites that are being discussed.

That issue will have to be settled at some point if plans to land Crew SC are to move forward, but the Austin Chamber is throwing its support behind the effort to bring the club to Austin. The organization is set to discuss its support at an event on Friday morning. More from The Austin American-Statesman:

The Chamber will host an event at 9 a.m. Friday morning where it will urge Austin city leaders to work with Precourt Sports Ventures to make the move happen. A resolution was adopted by the executive committee on behalf of the board of directors on Feb. 2.

“(Crew SC owner Anthony) Precourt has demonstrated its commitment to the Austin community especially with their goal of playing the entire 2019 season in Austin just 13 months from now,” the resolution states. “City of Austin leaders only have a limited window of time to act for a realistic shot at a Major League Soccer franchise. If not, the extraordinary opportunity goes away for the foreseeable future.”

Drew Scheberle, senior vice president of the Chamber, said PSV President Dave Greeley spoke to the board on Jan. 28 to make the case for MLS as a valuable part of the city’s business sector.

“We realized we needed to make a pretty quick show of support for this,” Scheberle said. “We’ve got a limited window of time, so let’s do it. Let’s get it done quickly.”

The Austin City Council was presented a report on city-owned site candidates in December, with Butler Shores Metropolitan Park, Guerrero Park, the Travis County Exposition Center, McKalla Place, and a former Home Depot at St. Johns Avenue and Interstate 35 being among the options that were listed. In the period since, Precourt Sports Ventures has indicated that it is not interested in the Expo Center or former Home Depot site, and Butler Shores was taken off the table amidst opposition from community members. Crew SC will spend the 2018 MLS season at Columbus’s MAPFRE Stadium.

Rendering courtesy Precourt Sports Ventures.

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