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“We will continue to fight,” Austin approves MLS stadium deal with Precourt

Austin City Council gave the black and yellow light to go ahead with a deal with the owners of Columbus Crew SC to build an MLS stadium.

The 7-4 vote gave the go-ahead for Precourt Sports Venture to build a $200 million soccer stadium at McKalla Place, a parcel of city-owned land about 10 miles north of downtown Austin.

In response to this decision, Mayor Ginther released this statement:

“Major League Soccer chose Columbus as the home of the Crew SC. We were the first city in the U.S. to build a soccer-specific stadium that hosted hundreds of games and international soccer competitions. When MLS and Precourt Sports Ventures indicated they wanted a downtown sports stadium, we entered into negotiations in good faith, rallying private investors and public support – including commitments for 10,000 season ticket holders for 2019 — to develop a comprehensive stadium plan. Unfortunately, MLS and PSV have not operated with the same intentions. The McKalla Place site proposal in Austin, for example, sits more than 10 miles from the city’s center – three times the distance between the Columbus Crew’s current stadium and downtown. 

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“Clearly, the decision to move Crew SC to Austin was made long before today’s vote in Texas, with no consideration to the history of the team or the integrity of soccer in the U.S. We believe MLS and PSV have a responsibility to our fans – and to every resident in Columbus — to keep Columbus Crew SC in its home. We will continue our fight to keep the Crew where it belongs – in Columbus.

According to Columbus Business First, Austin’s Mayor Steve Adler and the City Council added a series of amendments to the term sheet including:

  • A proposed financial penalty for Precourt Sports Ventures should it back out of a $3 million deal for a rail station.
  • Affordable housing plans for the site.
  • Meeting city code regulations relating to wetlands.

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