AUSTIN, Texas - It was a packed Velocity Lounge at Circuit of the Americas on Friday for a big announcement a brand new United Soccer League team, Austin Bold FC.
"Austin's bold, the team's gonna be bold. And we say 'bold in life, bold on the field' and I think that sounds pretty good," said Circuit of the Americas Chairman Bobby Epstein.
"I got involved with The Aztex. When they were sort of on one leg and I think we all looked at it and said 'why did this not work? Why did the Aztex not work here? And what can we do to bring a sensational product to Austin?" Epstein said.
That product is coming together fast. The Austin Bold FC will play its home matches in an intimate 5,000-seat soccer stadium at COTA starting next spring.
The team has its head coach: Marcello Serrano, born and raised in Brazil. Currently the head coach and General Manager for the U.S. Virgin Islands men's senior national team.
"We are in the recruiting phase right now so as you guys can see we just had 4 players signed. We have other players signed that we cannot tell right now because they're under contracts," Serrano said.
Players like Edson Braafheid are already on board.
"Since I could walk I was running after that ball. My Dad was a soccer player so naturally I grew into it," Braafheid said.
And Marcelo Saragosa. He says the Bold is a "fantastic" opportunity for Austin.
"Especially for the young kids. I think our opportunity to embrace the community, embrace the little kids to show them a little more passion for soccer is important here," Saragosa said.
The rumors are true. The team is hoping to sign Olympic Gold Medalist Usain Bolt.
"We have a possibility! He's choosing either us or a team in Australia. I think we're just letting him decide now," Serrano said.
So COTA is no longer just cars and concerts. It's soccer too. But what happens if Austin gets a Major League Soccer team? Can MLS and USL co-exist?
"For example in Chicago the USL team there plays in a stadium that's much bigger than the MLS stadium there so the two leagues can co-exist," Epstein said.
"The team that we're going to build might be better than them so that's what I can say," Serrano said.
On Wednesday the Austin City Council met to discuss bringing the MLS team Columbus Crew here to build a stadium on city-owned land. Susan Spataro spoke out against it. Spataro told Fox 7 she does “property tax work” for Circuit of the Americas. Mayor Adler asked her if she was being paid to speak. Spataro said “no.”
"It is so offensive to me that the people that are proposing this are accusing anybody that's against it as being paid," Spataro told Council.
"I have also been accused of being quote 'in the pocket of Bobby Epstein' and I don't appreciate that either," said Council Member Leslie Pool on Wednesday.
I asked Epstein about it Friday.
"That's absolutely absurd. I don't think anybody is against MLS. I think people are cautious about supporting something unproven with -- a really large commitment from the taxpayer," Epstein said.