In the ongoing search for an Austin MLS stadium site, there is an increasing focus on whether Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Park should be used for the venue.
Columbus Crew SC continues to explore a move to Austin, and is working to move forward with a preferred stadium site option. That process has had some twists and turns since the Austin City Council was presented a report on city-owned site candidates in December. Butler Shores Metropolitan Park initially earned high marks from Crew SC owner Precourt Sports Ventures, but in late January the group withdrew the site from consideration in the face of increasing opposition from community members.
As the process continues, there is discussion about whether Guerrero Park could emerge as a viable contender. PSV believes that it could use a portion of the park for the stadium without precluding existing park uses, but activists are voicing their opposition to the prospect of building an MLS venue at that site. More from The Austin American-Statesman:
PSV, which owns Columbus Crew SC, would seek the use of approximately 15 acres along the western edge of Guerrero Park, according to Richard Suttle, an Austin MLS lobbyist who works for Crew SC owner Anthony Precourt and PSV. That location, which contains the southernmost softball fields at the Krieg Softball Complex, offers views of the city skyline over Lady Bird Lake. It is distant from the adjoining bank of the Colorado River, which has experienced severe erosion over several decades.
Crew SC representatives said the MLS club would pay to construct new softball fields at the park.
“Our goal is to do a soccer park that doesn’t preclude the current uses going on in Guerrero,” Suttle said. “(That is) one of the sites that looks like it would work, because then we could swing a couple of those ball fields around to the (northeast) side.”
Activists protested Saturday against the use of parkland for a stadium, but Austin City Council Member Sabino “Pio” Renteria told the American-Statesman that he would like to have a discussion with PSV officials and community members before removing the park from consideration.
Among the stadium site options listed in the December report included Butler Shores, Guerrero 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 owner Anthony Precourt revealed in October that he was exploring a move of the club to Austin, but nothing has been finalized to this point.
Rendering courtesy Precourt Sports Ventures.
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