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AUSTIN - Q2 Stadium (20,738)

129909 Views 372 Replies 58 Participants Last post by  ielag

Austin city staffers identified eight city-owned sites Tuesday that could house a Major League Soccer stadium or practice stadium, including three on parkland.

Precourt Sports Ventures, owners of Columbus Crew SC, announced Oct. 17 that it was exploring a move to Austin in 2019 if a suitable site for a privately funded stadium can be found.

The five possible stadium sites include three pieces of parkland: Butler Shores Metropolitan Park, Guerrero Metro Park and the Travis County Exposition Center.

“We’re encouraged. It looks like the city did an exhaustive search of land, and they turned up some interesting possibilities,” Austin MLS lobbyist Richard Suttle, who’s working for Precourt Sports Ventures, told the American-Statesman. “We were familiar with several of these places, but some of them are new. We look forward to going over the pros and cons of each site with the city. It’s clear this project is moving forward.”

Butler Shores, previously described as “near perfect” by Suttle, is known to be Precourt’s favorite site for a 20,000-seat stadium that could cost $200 million to build.

Yet any use of parkland will generate a heated community debate and possibly an election, despite a poll released Tuesday by the social media group MLS2ATX that shows strong support for a privately financed stadium on underutilized city parkland.

Two northern sites were among the nonparkland options. One, at 10414 McKalla Place, is close to the Domain, near the intersection of Burnet Road and Braker Lane. The other, identified as the former site of a Home Depot, is near the intersection of Interstate 35 and U.S. 290.

“The McKalla Place site is outside the core, but it sounds interesting to us,” Suttle said. “We’ll have to take a closer look at what’s around there. I don’t know much about the Home Depot property.”

Only Butler Shores, Guerrero and the former Home Depot site are within the urban core, a prerequisite mentioned by both Major League Soccer and the Precourt group.

Three other locations were listed as potential sites for a $30 million to $50 million training facility: the Burger Center in Sunset Valley, owned by the Austin school district, and a pair of city-owned, East Austin parkland properties at Bohm District Park and Walnut Creek Sports Park.
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Interesting. Austin seems to take urban parkland seriously, unlike some cities who will gladly tear up anything if the money coming into reelection coffers looks sufficient. No reason that a stadium should be crammed into a central city parkland when plenty of space is otherwise available.
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If they're serious about this... 2 or 3.
Those are the two difficult ones since they are parkland. And why put your practice facility in parkland? It can be anywhere that's cheap.
I'm a big fan of both versions of 'football', moreso college if we're talking about the American kind, but yeah, I'm 30 and soccer won't be passing football until I've passed the earliest.

Anyway, does anyone know if MLS is still on target to announce the two expansion cities tomorrow? Seems there was a lot of hoopla that has since died down. Or maybe I just haven't been on the internet much.
From my understanding only the actual meetings are taking place this week, with no set date yet to make the announcement.
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AUSTIN - PSV Potential Soccer Stadium (20,000)

This is just one potential site for a stadium if Precourt moves the Crew to Austin. PSV released these visuals for what a stadium at Butler Shores Park would look like. This has not been approved by the City of Austin yet.

• No on-site parking. Greeley noted there are 13,000 parking spots within a 20-minute walk of the site. He said the new 25,500-seat MLS stadium in Orlando has only 65 on-site parking places. “When you consider shuttles, ride sharing, biking, walking, maybe a water taxi, it can be done and it is being done in other cities like Portland, too,” Greeley said.

• Sunken stadium. Suttle said the stadium would be built 15 to 20 feet into the ground so that the pitch has a margin above the water table yet allows for a structure that has the lowest possible ground-level presence. He said the acoustics of that setup would help contain the noise and light levels within the bowl while also keeping open views of the city skyline.

• Late starts. Greeley suggested 8 p.m. starts to lessen the amount of rush-hour arrivals and to beat the heat. Soccer matches are confined to two hours. He also pointed out most games are on weekends.

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A potential football stadium for psv in Austin? Are you buying those f#ck*rs from eindhoven? Please?
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A potential football stadium for psv in Austin? Are you buying those f#ck*rs from eindhoven? Please?
PSV (Precourt Sports Ventures) are the owners of Columbus Crew and they may move away from Ohio...
A potential football stadium for psv in Austin? Are you buying those f#ck*rs from eindhoven? Please?
What? Maybe your post didn't translate well.
PSV, Philips Sport Vereniging, is a football club from the city of Eindhoven in the Netherlands. They regularly play in the UEFA Champions League and have won European trophies in the past. I was confused by the title at first as well.

Red85 is a fan of AFC Ajax, the football club from Amsterdam and PSV is one of their main rivals, so he was making a joke about PSV moving to Austin which would free his club from one of their two biggest competitors.
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The Travis County Exposition Center has been ruled out as a possible Major League Soccer stadium site by Precourt Sports Ventures, owners of Columbus Crew SC.

PSV officials told the American-Statesman they toured the Expo Center and researched it, but that the location, roughly 10 miles from downtown, did not fit their needs for an urban-core facility with existing infrastructure and entertainment options.

The Expo Center was one of five city-owned stadium sites identified by city staff as potential locations for Precourt Sports, exploring a move to Austin for the 2019 MLS season, to build a privately financed stadium.

Another site, a former Home Depot tract at St. Johns Avenue and Interstate 35, has all but fallen out of the running, as well.

“At first blush, it doesn’t check a lot of the boxes we need,” said Austin MLS lobbyist Richard Suttle, who’s working for PSV, without going into detail.

That leaves three options for a potential stadium location: Butler Shores Metropolitan Park, Roy Guerrero Metropolitan Park and McKalla Place, near the intersection of Burnet Road and Braker Lane.

McKalla Place represents the path of least resistance because it is not on city-owned parkland, but Precourt’s group continues to favor Butler Shores. They refer to it as the Toomey Road site because Butler Shores is so often confused with the better-known Butler Park.

“Of all the sites, Toomey Road is the most desirable, most feasible for what we know right now,” Suttle said. “Despite things you hear from folks who are against it, we haven’t found anything that makes the site unworkable.

“We’re looking at other parking and traffic options, but so far there’s no hurdle we think would be impossible to overcome.”

City Council member Ann Kitchen and neighborhood groups are strongly opposed to the idea.

Suttle and PSV president Dave Greeley emphasized to the American-Statesman this week that a lot of work still needs to be done on their end and that any meaningful soccer action might be postponed from the Feb. 15 City Council agenda.

Late Wednesday Kimberly McNeeley, acting director of Austin Parks and Recreation, issued a memorandum saying that city staff will need a minimum of two months to provide property analysis and gather public input once PSV offers feedback on the sites. To this point, PSV has not given the city its preferred site.

“I don’t view Feb. 15 as the magic date,” Suttle said. “Analyzing the city sites is a very exhaustive process. We have traffic planners, architects, engineers, the best and the brightest involved. We’ve had meetings with in excess of 20 people.

“Between the holidays, flu season and winter storms, it’s been slow going. I’m not sure what, if anything, will be decided Feb. 15. It’s possible the agenda gets pushed back again. We’ve still got to complete our analysis of the remaining sites, to know exactly what PSV is willing to do and what doesn’t work for us.”

Austin Sports & Entertainment, which has plans for an arena and a open-air stadium at the Expo Center, said Precourt’s decision does not affect their project.

“Our commitment to the city and the county is to bring a world-class sports and entertainment facility to our community,” ASE co-founder Sean Foley said Wednesday. “The East Austin District will serve as a new home for Rodeo Austin, create economic development with local jobs and needed infrastracture and offer local programming at a unique and dynamic complex.

“The East Austin District was in development before an existing pro soccer team was a consideration. Community support for our project from all of Central Texas has been and continues to be humbling and overwhelming. We are in this for the long term.”

Suttle said his group applauds Austin Sports & Entertainment’s development efforts in an area of the city that deserves more attention.

“We wish them the best on their project,” he said. “It’s ambitious, long-term and there will be growth out that way down the road, no question. What they’re doing just doesn’t work for our model.”

Suttle also said PSV is devoting considerable time to finding a temporary stadium solution while a new facility is built. He indicated there could be multiple options, without revealing details.

An influential Austin lawyer who has been recognized as one of the area’s premier real-estate lobbyists, Suttle largely exuded optimism about Austin landing its first major league sports franchise, although he sounded a note of caution.

“I’m still very excited about the opportunity,” he said. “There is nothing that dampens my spirits to this point. Yet the uncertainty can make owners and the league uneasy.

“We’re all under the gun because there is a finite amount of time where the city is going to have to make a decision, especially if an election is needed. You know, 2019 isn’t far away.”
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Momentum is building to remove Precourt Sports Ventures’ preferred city parkland sites for a Major League Soccer stadium from consideration by the Austin City Council.

Kathie Tovo, a critical swing vote on the council in the soccer saga, told the American-Statesman on Tuesday night that Butler Shores Metropolitan Park and Roy Guerrero Metropolitan Park are generating too much public outcry to consider giving up parkland for a sports venue.

“They don’t appear to have support from the community, primarily Butler Shores, but there are general concerns about Guerrero, as well,” Tovo said. “Based on all the calls and emails our staff is getting, I don’t think either site is a viable option.
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Parkland may be out as possible MLS stadium site

Council members draft resolution urging removal of public parkland for MLS stadium
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Plans for the relocation of Columbus Crew SC to Austin drew further opposition on Saturday as over 60 people protested a potential stadium site in the Texas capital.

Those gathered objected to the use of public parkland for Precourt Sports Ventures' exploratory plans to move the MLS team from Columbus. PSV has said it is exploring dual options for a new stadium in both cities.

In Austin, PSV has offered to build a privately financed stadium but finding a location has proven difficult. From its initial list of five locations, Precourt is now down to two: Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Park in east Austin and McKalla Place in north Austin.

The protesters at Guerrero Park on Saturday said they wanted to preserve the area.

"It really is a shock to me to think that we are now going to say that we can give some of our parkland away," Travis County Commissioner Margaret Gomez said, according to the Austin American-Statesman.

"No way. We're paying taxes for that land, and we want to keep it for families in this community."

PSV removed its preferred option at Butler Shores Metropolitan Park last week following similar complaints.

On Friday, the Austin Parks and Recreation Department asked the City Council to delay discussions on any stadium site while it conducted a "community engagement" program that could take three months. PSV released a statement saying it had expected a postponement.

The ownership group has also reportedly begun talks with new investors interested in keeping the team in Columbus.
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Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Park has become the center of attention in the search for a site for a possible Major League Soccer stadium.

Since Jan. 26, when Precourt Sports Ventures withdrew interest in its preferred location, Butler Shores Metropolitan Park, much of the public conversation has shifted to the near 400-acre park in Southeast Austin.

PSV, which owns Columbus Crew SC, would seek the use of approximately 15 acres along the western edge of Guerrero Park, according to Richard Suttle, an Austin MLS lobbyist who works for Crew SC owner Anthony Precourt and PSV. That location, which contains the southernmost softball fields at the Krieg Softball Complex, offers views of the city skyline over Lady Bird Lake. It is distant from the adjoining bank of the Colorado River, which has experienced severe erosion over several decades.

Crew SC representatives said the MLS club would pay to construct new softball fields at the park.

“Our goal is to do a soccer park that doesn’t preclude the current uses going on in Guerrero,” Suttle said. “(That is) one of the sites that looks like it would work, because then we could swing a couple of those ball fields around to the (northeast) side.”

Activists protested Saturday against the use of parkland for a stadium, but Austin City Council Member Sabino “Pio” Renteria told the American-Statesman that he would like to have a discussion with PSV officials and community members before removing the park from consideration.

Renteria sees an opportunity to speed up repairs to the park. Flooding in October 2015 caused the need for a $13 million project to stabilize Country Club Creek, which runs through the park, and replace a pedestrian bridge that was wiped away. The project is scheduled for completion in 2021, pending receipt of an $8.5 million hazard mitigation grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Renteria said there’s also potential to connect the north and south parts of the Ann and Roy Butler Hike and Bike Trail west of Longhorn Dam with a pedestrian bridge.

“When we saw this opportunity for a soccer stadium, I want to have that conversation,” Renteria said. “We haven’t even had a conversation with them. This has all been hysterical people out there throwing bombs at us. We haven’t even sat down. I don’t even know the owner’s name.”

PSV, too, said it is open to a discussion about funding park upgrades.

“There are definite park needs, and we are definitely willing to enter into a conversation about what those needs are,” Suttle said.

The protestors who gathered at the park Saturday complained that they have been left out of the discussion altogether. More than 60 demonstrators calling themselves Friends of Austin Parkland held signs, chanted and sang to protest the use of public parkland for private development.

Susana Almanza, the director of PODER, a nonprofit group that works on environmental and social justice issues, organized the event. She is also the sister of Renteria and lost to him in a City Council runoff election in 2014.

“I don’t think that would be a reason to sell our park to a private developer,” Almanza said when asked about the potential for investment in the park. “Right now, this park is public. Council Member Renteria is not an environmentally sensitive person because if he was, he would know the beauty of this park and that we’ve worked for over a decade to preserve a balance between nature and humanity.”

Similar protests at Butler Shores led City Council Member Ann Kitchen to draft a resolution that called for eliminating all parkland from consideration as a possible stadium site. The resolution was withdrawn after PSV announced it was no longer interested in the Butler Shores tract.

“Butler Shores was taken off, and now it’s like it’s all right to put it in Roy Guerrero,” Almanza said. “Where’s that equity?”

Guerrero Park is one of two remaining sites from a list of five city-owned properties that were pitched as potential stadium locales by the Parks and Recreation Department in December. The other site that PSV has yet to eliminate is McKalla Place near the Domain. That site is not parkland.

For now, it appears the focus is squarely on Guerrero Park.

“I would hope that all the council members weigh in on this,” said Linda Guerrero, the daughter of the park’s namesake, a former longtime Austin Parks and Recreation employee. “I think it is a significant enough of a park that it should have every council member and the mayor’s eyes on what would be the very best outcome for this park.”
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Major League Soccer announcement expected Friday

AUSTIN (KXAN) — An announcement concerning Major League Soccer in Austin is slated for Friday, according to the Austin Chamber of Commerce.

Business and community leaders, as well as Precourt Sports Ventures President Dave Greeley (which owns the Columbus Crew SC), are expected to attend and “discuss the benefits of bringing Major League Soccer to Austin,” according to a release.

The city is in the midst of outlining appropriate sites to put an MLS stadium, one of the requirements for Precourt Sports Ventures to bring its team to a new city. Neighbors and some city council members are pushing to keep parkland like Guerrero Metro Park off the list, and while Butler Shores was originally highlighted by Precourt as a “perfect” location, it has since said it will not build a stadium there. Currently, that leaves 10414 McKalla Place near the Domain as a possible location.

The City Council was originally slated to discuss the stadium options at its Feb. 15 meeting, but will likely postpone the discussion to give the Austin Parks and Recreation Department more time to research other site options.
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McKalla Place: The good, bad and ugly for possible MLS stadium site
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McKalla Place: The good, bad and ugly for possible MLS stadium site
Looks more bad and ugly than good to me. Lots of cons and a few pros.
That MLS has been complicit in this heinous soap opera is reprehensible. I wish nothing more than abject failure in everything Precourt does.
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