The group trying to move a Major League Soccer team to Austin says it has reconsidered Butler Shores as a possible stadium venue.
Precourt Sports Ventures said in a statement this afternoon that the parcel of land near Zilker Park is no longer on its shortlist for a stadium. The prospect had angered Zilker-area neighbors and spurred a denunciatory resolution from Austin City Council Member Ann Kitchen, whose district includes Butler Shores.
In a statement, Precourt President Dave Greeley said the franchise will continue to search for the “best possible stadium site” – just not at Butler.
Some in the community and the neighbors near Butler Shores have valid concerns about a possible stadium location at that site. Based on this feedback, we are no longer exploring this location and are continuing our due diligence on other possible locations in the urban core. As we have stated from the onset of this process, finding the right site for a soccer park is of the utmost importance as we contemplate bringing Major League Soccer (MLS) to Austin.
The statement marks a pivot by Precourt, which sent out a release Wednesday that seemed to double-down on Butler Shores.
The decision whittles the firm’s shortlist for consideration to host the stadium to two – one at Roy Guerrero Park and another at McKalla Place in North Austin near the Domain.
Kitchen welcomed the announcement.
Re: Butler Shores: I believe this is a step in the right direction. I understand that city staff will not bring forward a report on potential locations Feb 15 so our res will not be on agenda. I believe we can find an appropriate location for a soccer stadium that works for all— Ann Kitchen (@D5Kitchen) January 26, 2018
In a draft resolution, she had called on her fellow council members to pull the site from the city’s list of would-be stadium sites, suggesting the city consider the McKalla Place location.
"McKalla appears to hold promise in terms of location and accessibility," the resolution reads, "and is worth a deeper examination by staff and stakeholders."