Agreement Reached on New Austin MLS Stadium Deal

Austin FC stadium

Precourt Sports Ventures and the City of Austin have inked an Austin MLS stadium deal, allowing plans for a new facility to move forward. 

Back in August, the Austin City Council approved the term sheet for a land lease, allowing city officials to proceed with negotiations for a finalized agreement with Anthony Precourt‘s PSV. The finalized agreement allows Precourt to proceed with plans to finance a $225 million, 20,000-seat soccer-specific stadium at the city-owned McKalla Place in North Austin for his upcoming Austin FC.

The stadium is slated for a 2021 opening, though MLS has still yet to officially decide whether the Austin club will begin play in 2020 or 2021. With the agreement in place, Precourt anticipates that MLS will make additional announcements in the near future. More from the Austin American-Statesman:

In an interview Wednesday with the American-Statesman, Precourt said the agreement will be the first of several MLS-related announcements over the coming weeks and months.

“We expect Major League Soccer and our commissioner to visit the marketplace in the very near future,” Precourt said. “This is the final piece of the puzzle to launching Austin FC. We’re proud to say today that we will begin construction of a stadium at McKalla Place and be on track to launch Austin FC in 2021.”

Under the agreement, PSV will privately finance the stadium at McKalla Place — estimated to cost about $225 million. The city will own the facility and lease it back to the team, with PSV agreeing to pay a total of $8.25 million in rent over a 20-year lease term. PSV also will give $3.64 million to Capital Metro over 15 years to be used for transit facilities.

As part of the deal, PSV will not have to pay property taxes on the 22-acre tract near the Domain in North Austin. The stadium is slated for completion in the spring of 2021.

Precourt initially announced in October 2017 that he was seeking to move Columbus Crew SC to Austin, but a scenario that would keep the Crew in Columbus has been gathering momentum for months. The plan is for a group led by Jimmy and Dee Haslam–owners of the NFL’s Cleveland Browns–and the Columbus-based Edwards family to buy into MLS and receive operating rights to Columbus. Meanwhile, Precourt would remain an MLS investor, allowing him to move forward with plans for a new Austin stadium and team.

That plan has had some interesting effects since it was announced this fall, as progress continues to be made on a proposed new stadium for the Crew in Columbus’ Arena District. Progress on that effort has made it more likely that Austin joins MLS as one of its next two expansion teams (#27 and #28), which could have interesting implications in a competitive expansion process.

Rendering courtesy Precourt Sports Ventures.

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