Austin Chamber & LGBT Chamber throw support behind MLS team

Wearing scarves of green, representatives from the Austin Chamber of Commerce and the Austin LGBT Chamber of Commerce held a press conference Friday morning cheering on the possibility of Austin's first major league sports team.

"I'm sure many of you know a lot about soccer but what you may not know it is the most inclusive sport in the world," said Edgar Gierbolini, President and CEO of the LGBT Chamber of Commerce.

The Austin Chamber's Rudy Garza says if the Columbus Crew soccer team came to town it would bring 1,000 jobs with it.

"Working the concessions, the folks at security and working the ticket booth but outside of that we've got other jobs we've got electricians, plumbers, painters," Garza said.

Kaitlin Swarts played for Austin's Lone Star Soccer Club and then continued in college.

"You can go anywhere, to any park in this city and you'll see people playing soccer anytime of day or night and I think especially for young people having role models showing you what hard work and dedication can get you in life is really important," Swarts said.

Butler Shores was Precourt Sports Ventures' top choice to build a stadium...but due to the public outcry, they took it off the list.

Now the team is looking at the other options like Roy G. Guerrero Park.  Which also led to a public outcry...during the press conference.

"I want to call a foul here today," a protestor stood up and yelled.  "I'm with the community and I want to make it clear, we like soccer but we do not want it on public land because the truth is, when this stadium comes to town, who is going to benefit?  The white community, the business community will benefit, you're looking at Roy Guerrero Park, that is a park won by the Latino community."  

Austinites against using parkland for a stadium protested outside of the chamber. 

"To bring in a private venture like this is only going to put more pressure on the area and possibly add fuel to the fire of displacement," said Marisa Perales.  

Recently Council Member Pio Renteria told Fox 7 he was in favor of at least having a discussion about putting the stadium at Guerrero because there is severe erosion there and maybe the team could help pay to fix it.

"It might be a win-win for our community especially in my district," Renteria said.

"City staff made it clear that they are already in the process of fixing the erosion so I'm not sure how putting a stadium near the erosion is going to make it better. I mean part of the problem is we didn't plan for the development in a way to prevent the erosion from occurring so I just don't follow the logic there," Perales said.

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