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Here are the terms of potential Austin MLS stadium deal

614now Staff

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A deal for a potential permanent MLS stadium in Austin, TX between the city and Precourt Sports Ventures is beginning to take shape.

A term sheet for a stadium at McKalla Place, a 24-acre plot owned by the city, was released Friday evening, detailing the stipulations of the deal.

PSV has been scheming to relocate the Columbus Crew SC to Austin for a while now.

The permanent Austin stadium wouldn’t be complete until the 2021 season.

Columbus Business First reports the team would play at a temporary stadium beginning in 2019.

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Here are some basic points from the term sheet, per Columbus Business First:

  • The 20,000-21,000-seat stadium would be privately financed and donated to the city upon completion.
  • The site is expected to feature more than eight acres of green space and 130 affordable-housing units.
  • PSV would lease city-owned stadium for an initial 20-year term with three possibilities for 10-year renewals.
  • Rent payments of $550,000 would begin in the sixth year – and would total $8.25 million over the first 20 years.
  • A non-relocation clause, a city priority after PSV’s efforts to leave Columbus, would be included.
  • Both the city and PSV would work on a Transportation and Parking Plan, as well as figuring out how to pay for a Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority rail station at the stadium site.
  • The club would distribute 1,000 complimentary seats for each regular season game on average, with 100 of them going to the city of Austin to distribute as it sees fit.
  • Both sides expect a stadium would remain exempt from property taxes as a city-owned site.
  • Both sides would work to locate a permanent club headquarters in Austin city limits and keep “Austin” in the club name.
  • They’d make an agreement on community benefits, including affordable housing, complimentary tickets, charitable contributions and fundraising opportunities.
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Sports

Columbus is a frontrunner to host return of the NHL in proposed plan

Mike Thomas

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With some teams telling players to report for workouts on May 15, the future of the current NHL season is still anything but certain. For now, it seems hockey commissioner Gary Bettman is eyeing a a plan to finish out regular season play by centralizing games at four locations. According to a report from the New York Post, Columbus and the facilities at Nationwide Arena are among the frontrunners being considered to host one of these proposed "quadrants," should the NHL resume play this summer.

Hockey blog thehockeywriters.com offers a deep-dive into the many factors that have put Columbus on the short list of candidates for this modified NHL season, including the abundance of hotels in the area of Nationwide Arena, the more-than-adequate facilities of the arena itself, and the encouragingly low number of Covid cases in Franklin County.

While it's still way, way too early to say whether or not this plan will move forward, it's encouraging nonetheless to see Columbus recognized as a frontrunner for the return of national televised sports. Just don't count on sitting in the stands with 80k of your fellow fans anytime soon.

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Sports

Memorial Tourney gets mid-summer date but will fans be allowed?

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It may be a little early to break out the polo shirt and comfy walking shoes, but the good news is that one the city's most visible sporting events will be held this year after all. The big question remains: will Gov. DeWine allow fans to attend?

Thursday, the PGA Tour announced The Memorial Tournament will play the week of July 13-19 at Muirfield Village Golf Club and feature an increased field from 120 to 144 players. The invitational’s one-time expanded field size allowance will provide additional playing opportunities for touring professionals in light of the TOUR’s reduced schedule.

“This is an unprecedented time in our world, as well as the world of sports,” said Founder and Host Jack Nicklaus. “I can’t emphasize enough the message related to doing your part by social distancing and helping our nation and world by slowing this pandemic. But while we all need to come together and be strong, we also need to be understanding and flexible."

Recognizing Governor DeWine’s Ohio Stay at Home order and public gatherings ban guidelines currently in place, the Memorial will proceed with an understanding that its operation may require alterations. The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide will continue to offer patron badges, enhanced with a special offer that includes honoring original presale badge rates – starting at $185 for a weekly patron badge – and a complimentary $20 merchandise card (limit one per order, per household) redeemable at all on-site golf shops during Tournament week.

The Tournament plans to monitor the State of Ohio COVID-19 regulations and will employ changes relative to patron access if needed. If it is determined that the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide will be staged without patrons, a full refund policy will be implemented.

“This has been a couple months we would soon like to forget, but hopefully we can make this a summer to remember," added Nicklaus.

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Goodbye Yellow and Black? Columbus Crew could change name

614now Staff

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With the announcement of the new downtown stadium in the post-"Save the Crew" era, the future of Columbus Crew SC seemed secure.

Now, a report from The Dispatch is once against casting doubt on the club's continued existence—at least in its current form. According to "sources close to the Crew’s front office," management is giving serious thought to changing the team name, colors, and logo by the time the new stadium opens in the summer of 2021.

For commentary on the situation, including a statement from a team spokesperson, read the full rundown at The Dispatch.

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