Though discussion was expected to take place later this month, it now appears that Austin officials will push back an agenda item relating to an Austin MLS stadium site.
Since October, when it was revealed that Columbus Crew SC was exploring a move to the city, there has been considerable discussion over the future of MLS in Austin. A December report listed city-owned sites that could be used for a new stadium, and an agenda item relating to the stadium site has been slated for February 15. However, while Crew SC owner Precourt Sports Ventures has eliminated a few options, it has still not selected its preferred site. Furthermore, the group removed Butler Shores Metropolitan Park–a location that had earned high marks–from consideration in the face of increasing opposition from community members.
Some community members are also balking at the possible use of another site, Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Metropolitan Park. As they look to reach a consensus, City of Austin officials are prepared to push back the February 15 agenda item, as a memorandum from Friday requested that the discussion be postponed. More from The Austin American-Statesman:
On Saturday, the Save Our Parkland forces are rallying at Roy G. Guerrero Metropolitan Park, another desirable site identified by city staff Dec. 12, to remove it from the dwindling list of options. A group called Friends of Austin Parkland has started a petition to eliminate Guerrero.
A city memorandum Friday requested a postponement of the soccer agenda item at the Feb. 15 council meeting and delayed a full vetting of any stadium site for an additional three months. That extends the process into late spring/early summer.
“Upon consensus between the suggested city of Austin properties and the Precourt Sports Ventures property analysis, city staff will commence with a robust community engagement,” Kimberly McNeeley, acting director of Austin Parks and Recreation, wrote in a memo.
“It will be at that time city staff can select an appropriate council date. A robust community engagement is estimated to take approximately three months.”
Among the stadium site options listed in the December report included Butler Shores, Roy Guerrero Metropolitan Park, the Travis County Exposition Center, McKalla Place, and a former Home Depot at St. Johns Avenue and Interstate 35. PSV recently indicated that it was not interested in the Expo Center or former Home Depot site, and Butler Shores was later taken off the table. Crew SC will spend the 2018 MLS season at MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus.
Rendering courtesy Precourt Sports Ventures.
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