Columbus Crew Owners Release Austin Stadium Plan With Affordable Housing

Jun 26, 2018

The owners of Columbus Crew unveiled a new proposal for a Major League Soccer stadium in Austin, Texas, featuring a music performance space, parking garage, bicycle valet and up to 130 affordable housing units.

Precourt Sports Ventures, which owns the Crew, released the new plans on Tuesday after Austin City Council members signaled their approval of a site at 10414 McKalla Place in North Austin.

The 20,000-seat stadium, which was first revealed in May, would sit on almost 25 acres of city-owned land. It would boast over 1,000 parking spaces, walkways and trails around the soccer park, and a possible station for light rail.

In a statement, Precourt Sports Ventures attorney Richard Suttle said that the organization would be donating additional money to Foundation Communities, a Texas affordable housing nonprofit.

“Precourt Sports Ventures’ vision is to create a true partnership with the City of Austin at McKalla Place, revitalizing an unused site to generate the greatest community benefit," Suttle said.

Austin City Council is scheduled to vote on Thursday on two resolutions surrounding the Crew move, one to approve the city entering negotiations with Precourt Sports Ventures and one that would begin a "request for proposals" process for the McKalla Place site.

Earlier this month, council members released an official report on the Crew move saying the team needs to invest its own money in upgrading the site's infrastructure. Utility upgrades would likely cost about $30 million. 

Council members said they did not want to use public money to build the stadium, but estimated an economic benefit of $54 million a year during construction and $26 million afterwards.

Concept drawings of the proposed Major League Soccer stadium southeast of the Domain. The drawing is of what would be the northwest entrance.
Credit Gensler/Precourt Sports Ventures

While team owner Anthony Precourt pursues a stadium in Austin, he continues to face legal challenges at home in Columbus. On Thursday, the 10th District Court of Appeals rejected his attempt to dismiss Ohio's lawsuit, which seeks to block the move under "Modell Law."

The court also allowed a 90-day pause in the case, during which the city of Columbus can attempt to buy the franchise. A Franklin County judge previously established meetings for both parties to negotiate the terms of a purchase.

This article will be updated with more information as the story develops.