Citing timing concerns, Precourt Sports Ventures warns that a Columbus Crew SC move to Austin could be jeopardized by a resolution to seek proposals for McKalla Place.
PSV is eyeing the city-owned McKalla Place in North Austin as the site of a privately financed MLS stadium that would house the Crew. In an effort to move the Crew to Austin by the 2019 season, the group has been seeking to secure an agreement by the end of this month, before the Austin City Council goes on a break that runs until August 9.
Some councilmembers, however, are contending that the city should explore its options by putting development of McKalla Place out for proposal. Four council members–including Leslie Pool, whose district includes McKalla Place–are co-signing a resolution that calls for the city to solicit development proposals for the site. Pool contends that this resolution would allow the city to seek other options without delaying discussions with the Crew, but PSV disagrees, with lobbyist Richard Suttle contending that the proposal could delay discussions and ultimately force the organization to look elsewhere. More from the Austin-American Statesman:
“No one is talking about waiting for months,” she told the American-Statesman. “While I prefer a full RFP, I’ve specifically crafted my resolution to address these concerns and direct the manager to put this process on the same timeline as item 64.
“So the timeline stays the same, but we have the benefit of having all our options on the table so everyone can put their best foot forward.”…
“That is a minimum of a several-month process,” he said. “That means that site is off the table for an MLS stadium, because we don’t have several months to wait to see if it’ll work for a stadium or not.”
If an agreement is not reached on June 28, or if soliciting other proposals drags on too long, Suttle said MLS may take matters into its own hands. The league has announced two expansion teams since December — Nashville and Cincinnati — that were picked from a list of 12 candidates.
Another resolution on the agenda for June 28 with four co-sponsors–including Austin mayor Steve Adler and three council members–calls for the city manager to begin exclusive negotiations for the stadium. Under the terms of the MLS proposal, Crew SC investor-operator Anthony Precourt will privately finance a $200 million stadium at McKalla Place while entering into an initial 20-year lease at $1 annually. The Crew would move to Austin in 2019 and spend its initial seasons at an existing venue in the area until the new stadium opens.
Rendering courtesy Gensler Sports Practice.
RELATED STORIES: Austin City Council Debates McKalla Place MLS Stadium Pitch; Offer Made for McKalla Place Development; Austin MLS Stadium Plans Unveiled; New Information Surfacing on Austin MLS Stadium Pitch; Who Should Pay for Light Rail at New Austin MLS Stadium?; Site Concept Unveiled for Austin MLS Stadium at McKalla Place; Judge Sets 90-Day Toll in Columbus Crew SC Lawsuit; PSV Looks to Reach Austin Stadium Agreement in June; Ohio, Columbus Counter Claims From MLS and Crew SC; Affidavit: Prospective Crew SC Investor Never Signed Non-Disclosure Agreement; MLS, Columbus Crew SC File Motion to Dismiss Lawsuit; Crew SC: We’d Open The Books for Interested Buyers; Austin to Study McKalla Place for MLS Stadium; Precourt: New Austin MLS Stadium Will Generate $326M in Benefits; Precourt: We’re Pursuing McKalla Place Stadium Site for Crew; Columbus Crew SC, MLS Respond to Lawsuit; Ohio, Columbus Sue to Block Columbus Crew SC Move; Precourt Still Exploring Austin Move for Columbus Crew SC; Columbus Crew SC Will Continue to Explore Austin Move; Parks Board Could Recommend Removing Guerrero Park MLS Stadium Site Options; McKalla Park Still on Table for Austin MLS Stadium Site; Austin MLS Stadium Site Discussion Postponed; Columbus Crew SC Details Financial Concerns; Austin Chamber Backs City’s Columbus Crew SC Pursuit; Ohio AG Explores Lawsuit to Keep Crew in Columbus