Austin

Austin won't pay to build new $225M soccer stadium it just agreed to

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin will soon have a landmark $225 million soccer park and stadium that will be home to a new Major League Soccer team, Austin F.C. officials announced in a press release Wednesday. 

The agreement between the City and Precourt Sports Ventures, LLC. will allow for a 20,000 seat capacity stadium to be built on a city-owned 24-acre parcel of land located at 10414 McKalla Place. The groundbreaking for the new stadium will take place in 2019 and officials hope to have the stadium open for business by 2021. 

The stadium will entirely be funded by PSV, including construction costs and operating expenses during the course of the club's lease of the stadium from the City. 

"We are honored that through building this stadium we will be able to create jobs, provide a first-rate soccer and entertainment complex and bring a unifying platform for all of Austin to rally behind – all at no cost to the tax payer,” said PSV chairman Anthony Precourt. 

The natural grass, open-air stadium will also be used for entertainment and multi-purpose event venue for the city of Austin. There will be a park and open space that will be available to the public year-round. 

“Bringing major league sports to Austin will help bring all parts of our diverse city together, so today’s lease signing is very exciting for our community,” said Mayor Steve Adler. “The partnership between the team, the League and the City is a great deal for Austin. I can’t wait for us to celebrate our first MLS championship.”

Some of the highlights of the Austin-PSV agreement include: 

  • $550,000 annual rent payments to be paid to the City for the duration of the lease
  • No new or higher taxes for Austinites 
  • More than $6.7 million of support for youth soccer programs 
  • Nearly $4 million in direct contributions to Foundation Communities to build affordable housing
  • $2.43 million in charitable contributions 
  • $3.54 million in direct contributions to CapMetro over 15 years

Next steps

City officials told KXAN Wednesday PSV will now need to go through the city's permitting process just like any other developer would to build in Austin. 

"Precourt would be expected to follow all the rules and regulations that are out there for any other development," said Leslie Pool, an Austin City Council member. McKalla Place is in Pool's district. 

The Development Services Department handles site plans and permits. Typically, they would conduct a pre-application review and move on to a zoning review to look at the traffic and environmental impact. 

They would then make sure the design complies with the city code and state law. 

After that, the site plan will be created that details construction and transportation.

"There's a lot of work ahead," said David Greeley, President of Precourt Sports Ventures. "We currently have a project manager. We have an architect. One of the next steps we're going to take is hiring a general contractor because we need to get a shovel in the ground in late 2019."

The lease also outlines some important dates.

If by March 1st, MLS does not give Austin an expansion team, the agreement could be scrapped, but that's all voluntary. 

Traffic concerns near McKalla Place

During the negotiation process, many people expressed concerns about how the new stadium will affect traffic.

According to the lease, Precourt will be paying about $3.5 million to Capital Metro over 15 years. 

CapMetro told us while it's too early to say how that money will be used, they will look at some specific improvements in the coming months.



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