If Major League Soccer comes to Austin, where will the stadium go?

The ball is rolling so to speak on negotiations that could land Austin its first professional sports team.  Columbus Crew owner Anthony Precourt says staying in Ohio is an option but so is moving to Austin.


The goal would be to put a stadium downtown or close to it. "The soccer stadiums in the country that are exciting and fun tend to be in or around the urban core or in or around places where people can come and park and eat and rally around their team," said Austin Attorney Richard Suttle who is representing Precourt Sports Ventures.


He says the Austin City Council will take the next step in this process


Mayor Pro-Tem Kathie Tovo is working on a resolution for the November 9th agenda that would direct city staff to quote "identify city-owned sites in the urban core, including underutilized parkland that might be appropriate for a soccer stadium." 


And if the crew heads to Texas, they'll also need a place to practice. "The practice facility has the flexibility of going anywhere in town.  And the practice facility would include multiple fields," Suttle said.


Precourt has said he'll use private dollars to build so the burning question is -- where could this stadium go?


"Nothing's been decided.  We're just now starting that process," he said. 


Lance Aldridge the Executive Director of the Austin Sports Commission tells Fox 7 the handful of city-owned athletic fields behind the Zach Theater is the only spot that's been mentioned so far.


"Yes that would be a really unique place and a cool place to have a stadium but there's space limitations and parking issues are of great concern," he said.


But again, Suttle points out, discussions haven't gone that far yet.


"There's been a lot of people speculating about where this site might be.  Those that are speculating in the news really frankly don't know what they're talking about," Suttle said.


"We all badly want major league soccer here in Austin, Texas.  We all understand this is most likely our one shot to get a professional sports franchise.  So we want to do everything we can," Aldridge said.


Aldridge says Precourt needs to give Austin some tangible details that can be discussed and debated.


"There's popular opinion that we are just being used as a bargaining chip in all this and if that's the case, Mr. Precourt and his team, that's their right and I can kind of understand that from a business point of view but here in Austin, us Austin residents, we need to really work hard to get some clarity in this," he said.

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