Austin Bold GM Roberto Silva Let Go Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

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Apparent economic concerns amid the coronavirus pandemic have affected Austin Bold FC‘s operations, as general manager Roberto Silva is no longer in his post following a round of layoffs at Circuit of the Americas.

With USL Championship play suspended for at least 30 days amid the ongoing public health crisis, teams around the Division II circuit will undoubtedly face economic challenges. The majority owner of Austin Bold is Circuit of the Americas (COTA) chairman Bobby Epstein, with the club playing its matches in a soccer-specific stadium at the COTA complex.

Silva, who has been part of Austin’s soccer scene for years since relocating there from his native Brazil and played a significant role in building the Bold, is no longer in his position as GM following a round of staff layoffs at COTA. More from the Austin American-Statesman:

Silva said he was informed Friday night that he was no longer the general manager of Austin Bold FC, the team majority owned and operated by COTA chairman Bobby Epstein.

“If his main goal at this point is to minimize as much as he can his losses, especially with the uncertainty of when (the USL Championship) is going to pick up again, I was his only option at this point,” Silva said on Tuesday.

COTA officials were not made available for comment on Tuesday.

The rest of the team’s staff, including players and coaches, remains in place with the USL having suspended play for a minimum of 30 days. COTA’s marketing department, which also works on Bold marketing, saw significant staff cuts.

USL Championship announced last week that it would suspend its season for a minimum of 30 days in response to COVID-19, while Division III USL League One delayed the start of its season–originally scheduled to begin in late March–by at least two weeks. With the response to coronavirus pandemic still very much evolving, however, it remains to be seen when pro soccer leagues that have suspended or delayed their seasons could begin play.

With hourly news about the spread of the coronavirus impacting the sports-business and facilities industries, it’s more important than ever to stay up with the latest news in the venues industry. That’s why we’re launching a new Venues Digest newsletter focusing on coronavirus information across the ballparks, arenas, stadiums, theater and performing-arts worlds. For now it will appear daily, and for now it will be free of charge. Sign up here.

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