The design of the upcoming Austin FC stadium is taking shape, with project officials planning several major aspects of the facility’s look and feel.
The stadium is slated to open in 2021, coinciding with the planned launch date for Austin FC–a club backed by Anthony Precourt‘s Precourt Sports Ventures that will serve as MLS’s 27th team. PSV will privately finance the $240 million, 20,500-seat stadium at the 24-acre city-owned McKalla Place in North Austin, while entering into a 20-year lease with the city for $1 for the first five years before rent payments jump to $550,000 beginning in year six.
Gensler is serving as the lead architect on the project and is sorting through some of the intricacies of the facility, as principal and design director Jonathan Emmett explained during an event in Austin on Wednesday. Working the facility into the surrounding area, which is being redeveloped to include park space, will be one particularly important point of emphasis in the design process. In addition, the facility is being planned to feature several distinct amenities, including a safe-standing section and a unique canopy design. More from Pro Soccer USA:
Yet, Emmett said, “One of the big struggles is to design an open space that works for 20,000 people on game day,” and added that “a lot of care and effort is being put into creating a whole series of smaller, intimate spaces and a lot of entry points around the stadium, so it feel doesn’t like everyone’s in one place trying to coming in through one gate.”
Emmett said the second defining aspect of the stadium, will be the giant, airplane wing-styled canopy above the seating bowl. It will crucially protect fans from the relentless summer sun and occasional heavy rains that define Austin weather.
“I think the roof canopy is going to be an iconic element of the design,” he said. “People will recognize it, see it on TV and say, ‘That’s in Austin.’”
In addition to its aesthetic value and protective functionality, Emmett said it’s also being created with acoustics in mind. The roof is lower over the south end of the stadium in large part because that’s where the supporters’ section will be. As with Banc of California Stadium — the Gensler-built home of LAFC, a project Emmett also led — supporters will be in an angled, safe-standing section. Emmett said the canopy will help the sound created by those fervent fans resonate through the stadium.
Gensler will handle the Austin FC stadium design, with Austin Commercial serving as the construction manager, and CAA Icon tapped as the project manager and representative for PSV. Construction has not begun yet, though it is expected that it will break ground this fallr.
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