Local leaders, SXSW, ACL Fest join in opposition to Proposition A

Austin

Editor’s Note: Austin FC was not part of Tuesday’s news conference, as stated in an earlier version of this story. KXAN regrets its error.

Austin (KXAN) — On Tuesday, city and local leaders stood alongside community organizations and representatives from popular events in town to oppose Proposition A.

Proposition A will be on the ballot for Austin voters in November. It was driven by a petition effort earlier this year from those opposed to Austin’s new Major League Soccer stadium, which required a lease of city property. Prop. A would require any use of city-owned land for any sports facility or entertainment facility be approved by a supermajority of the council and approved by voters in an election.

The event Tuesday marked the launch of the PACE (Parks Art Culture Entertainment) Political Action Committee and the start of the group’s effort to topple Proposition A.

Organizations that oppose Prop. A include the Long Center, SXSW, ACL Fest, YMCA, Zach Scott Theater, Trail of Lights, Kite Festival and Austin Symphony.

Elected officials who oppose the proposition include Mayor Steve Adler, Mayor Pro Tem Delia Garza, Austin City Council Members Natasha Harper-Madison, Greg Casar, Jimmy Flannigan, Kathie Tovo, Alison Alter, Pio Renteria, Ann Kitchen and Paige Ellis.

Several AISD trustees and AISD Board president Geronimo Rodriguez oppose Prop A as well.

At the press conference Tuesday, Cory Baker, CEO of the Long Center, said that Prop. A is a threat to the Long Center’s ability to serve its mission.

“The Long Center is a nonprofit organization and ticket sales alone don’t cover all the costs associated with operating this city asset and world-class venue,” Baker said. “If Proposition A were to pass, the Long Center would be required to start paying the City of Austin fees of over $2.5 million a year.”

Proposition A was made possible by the petition efforts of PACs Indy Austin and Fair Play Austin, groups which expressed opposition to Austin’s MLS stadium deal with Austin FC at McKalla Place.

Circuit of the Americas chairman Bobby Epstein was a known opponent of this MLS stadium deal as well as the funder for the Fair Play Austin PAC.

However, while Fair Play initially supported the effort to challenge the Austin FC deal, Fair Play Austin PAC sent out a statement on Aug. 19 explaining that Prop. A had “drifted from its original intent” and in its current condition would “do more harm than good.” The PAC said it would not undertake any effort to support the proposition.

Francoise Luca, with Friends of McKalla Place, said her group still supports Proposition A.

“We still believe the citizens should have a right to vote on how to use public lands and public money,” she said.

Luca added that she still has hope that Proposition A could challenge the McKalla Place stadium deal and Austin FC.

In a statement to KXAN on Aug. 27, Two Oaks Ventures, which owns Austin FC, said that the development of a soccer park and stadium at McKalla Place would not be affected by Proposition A.

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