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Fate of MLS in Austin lies in hands of City Council

By July, Austin should have a better idea if the Columbus Crew will officially move to the capital city. But first, Precourt Sports Ventures has to hurdle their toughest task yet -- getting approval from the Austin City Council. (Image: Precourt Sports Ventures)

By July, Austin should have a better idea if the Columbus Crew will officially move to the capital city. But first, Precourt Sports Ventures has to hurdle their toughest task yet -- getting approval from the Austin City Council.

Last Friday a nearly 200-page proposal was published on the same day the city released their feasibility study on McKalla Place, the 24-acres sought as the location for a new 20,000 seat stadium.

“We really focused on creating something that’s unique for Austin,” said Johnathan Emmett, part of the architect team for the proposed stadium.

Emmett said the design of the stadium is crafted with open corners to allow breeze flow throughout the stadium, and a canopy helps control noise and shade fans. The 17 home games would be held in the summer months.

During community meetings where residents could ask PSV questions about the stadium, many brought up concerns about density, traffic and parking. The stadium proposal calls for only about 1,000 parking spaces.

“Within a 20-minute walk of the stadium, we’ve identified more than 10,000 spaces,” said Dan Vaillant, part of the stadium construction team.

PSV hopes to spread the rush of traffic throughout The Domain and the area around Braker Lane and Burnet Road. Vaillant said a park and ride will help bring patrons to the park. They anticipate more than 4,000 people to be picked up and dropped off on Donley Drive by rideshares, and there will be racks for thousands of bikes at the proposed stadium property.

The city’s feasibility study estimated a cost of $13 million to move the Cap Metro Rail station from Kramer Lane to the stadium. But PSV said there isn’t enough ridership on Metro Rail to move the station near the proposed stadium. “It’s doesn’t move the needle in term of making sense for us to pay for that station,” said Villant.

Dave Greenly, the president of Precourt Sports Ventures hopes before city council breaks in July, they have an agreement to build a stadium that would be completed in 2021. If that’s decided, Precourt will determine a temporary facility to play starting March of 2019.

“We’re proving not just a major league team and stadium for free, but we are providing a park that is accessible to all of Austin 52 weeks of the year. That’s something that’s missing in that part of town, we’ll not only pay for it, we’ll maintain it with professional grounds keepers for the life of our lease which could be up to 80 years,” said Greenly.

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