AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber formally announced Tuesday that Austin will be an expansion franchise for the 2021 season.
The move has been long expected as Austin became the target destination for efforts last year to move the Columbus Crew. The Crew instead will stay in Ohio under a new ownership group.
Austin recently signed a lease with Austin FC majority owner Anthony Precourt, a California-based investor, to provide land for a privately-funded $225 million stadium. The Austin venue will be an open-air facility with a natural grass playing field on land that has been vacant for 25 years.
Austin FC will become the 27th team in MLS and the first major league professional franchise in the Texas capital city. MLS already has Dallas and the Houston Dynamo in Texas.
Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce Board Chair Brian Cassidy released the following statement regarding today's announcement about Austin's first major league sports franchise saying:
"Today is a momentous day for the City of Austin and Central Texas. Today we formally became home to a major league sports franchise: Austin FC. We are thrilled with the culmination of more than a year of hard work, collaboration, and commitment across our community. Congratulations to Mayor Adler, City Council, Anthony Precourt, Major League Soccer, and the community of activists and soccer supporters that made today a reality. Having a major league sports franchise, especially one that will play the most popular sport in the world, is another marker of success for our city.”