USL Championship’s Austin Bold FC could be relocated to a new Fort Worth soccer stadium and complex, with a new USL Super League team as part of the mix.
An investment group led by Texas Rangers president and COO Neil Leibman, former Dallas Mavericks GM Donnie Nelson and motorsports executive Bobby Epstein purchase Auctin Bold FC in December 2021 after the team announced it would suspend operations for the 2022 season. Competing with MLS proved to be too much for previous Austin Bold ownership, but at that time the Leibman/Nelson group (which also holds separate investments in minor-league baseball teams) said they were aiming to keep the team in Texas.
Enter Fort Worth, where the city has been considering pro soccer for years and is also considering a 20-field youth soccer complex as well. So we’re really talking two soccer investments here. One would feature a 10,000-seat stadium to host both the relocated Austin Bold, a new USL Super League women’s team, and a player academy. The other is the aforementioned 20-field youth soccer complex. The city is currently surveying residents to gauge their support for a new stadium. From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
The survey is asking questions about residents’ knowledge of the soccer league, how likely they are to attend games, and whether they’d be willing to attend other events like trade shows or food truck festivals. It’s meant to measure interest as well as see how financially practical a new stadium would be.
The women’s league is scheduled begin play in 2023, and if selected, Fort Worth would be one of the inaugural cities to host a professional women’s soccer team in the new league. The potential site the for the teams’ home stadium would be at the northeast corner of Interstate 35W and Basswood Boulevard.
The Basswood site could also host a youth soccer academy run by a “prominent European soccer club,” according to the city’s survey.
The new stadium and youth complex would also be used by the school district.
Rendering of proposed stadium courtesy HTNB.