As part of its discussions about moving Columbus Crew SC to Austin, Precourt Sports Ventures is looking to reach an Austin MLS stadium agreement in June.
It has been publicly known since last fall that Austin is being explored as a potential new home for the Crew, but a firm stadium plan has not been finalized. Work is taking place, however, as study continues on McKalla Place, a city-owned site that is being explored as the potential home of a 20,000-seat, privately financed $200 million MLS stadium. PSV continues to evaluate McKalla Place, but is working to unveil a stadium plan in the coming weeks.
According to the Austin-American Statesman, the group is working to present a stadium plan to the city by June 1. It also hopes to come to an agreement, perhaps a letter of intent, with the city by the end of next month. Following its June 28 meeting, the Austin City Council will go on a summer break and will not meet again until early August. PSV is working to move the Crew in time for the 2019 season, making the coming weeks crucial to the process. More form the Austin-American Statesman:
“We’ve got to get the framework of a proposal to the city in the next two or three weeks,” said Austin MLS lobbyist Richard Suttle, who works for PSV. “That allows time for negotiation over any sort of complicated matter.
“I don’t know that we can wrap this up in June, but it’s realistic to think we can have a good idea of whether or not this works by this summer.”
“Clearly this is time sensitive,” [PSV President Dave] Greeley said. “The onus is on us to get a proposal in front of City Council that they can say, ‘You know what? This makes a lot of sense for Austin.’ ”
PSV is working on multiple components of the Crew’s potential move, including study of McKalla Place, the exploration of sites for a separate training complex project, and the search for an existing venue that could house the team on a temporary basis. While the 2019 MLS season is a target for relocation, the new stadium would not be ready by then, leaving the Crew to find a suitable venue to host home matches until construction of the new facility is complete.
Though the organization has been exploring a move to Austin over the last several months, a relocation has not been finalized. The club has played home matches at Columbus’s MAPFRE Stadium since 1999.
Image courtesy MAPFRE Stadium.
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