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New MLS soccer stadium at Butler Shores looking more likely

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Ohio’s Columbus Crew SC looking at city core for possible relocation

Rendering of soccer stadium with Austin skyline in the background
Rendering of possible Butler Shores stadium
Courtesy of Precourt Sports Ventures

Austin’s Butler Shores Metropolitan Park is looking more and more likely to be the site of a new Major League Soccer stadium, local ABC affiliate KVUE reported on its website Thursday. Precourt Sports Ventures, which owns the Ohio MLS club that’s considering a relocation to Austin, Columbus Crew SC, has ruled out several other proposed local spots for the team’s new home.

On Wednesday, the Austin American-Statesman reported that PSV has nixed the possibility of moving its team to the Travis County Exposition Center, which is set to undergo a major renovation that includes the construction of a professional-quality sports stadium.

Armburst & Brown lobbyist and attorney Richard Suttle, representing PSV, told KVUE that “the Expo Center‘s entertainment options and infrastructure weren’t up to par,” according to the station’s website. The facility is located in East Austin, about 10 miles from Downtown.

Precourt has also rejected the former Home Depot tract at St. Johns Avenue and IH-35, another proposed site for a new stadium, the Statesman reported. Suttle told the daily that “it doesn’t check a lot of the boxes we need.”

Austin city staff originally named five locations as potential sites for the MLS team’s possible relocation for the 2019 season. The options that remain are two city parks—Butler Shores and Roy Guerrero—and McKalla Place in North Austin, which is neither city parkland nor in the central core.

Suttle told the Statesman that, despite traffic and parking issues, Precourt prefers the Butler Shores location and that the group “[hasn’t] found anything that makes the site unworkable.” In December, the Statesman reported that Suttle had described the site as “near perfect” and that it “is known to be Precourt’s favorite site for a 20,000-seat stadium that could cost $200 million to build.” Precourt has taken the position that a stadium plan would be essential to any consideration of relocating the team, adding that such a stadium would be privately financed.

Suttle also told the Statesman that PSV is looking for a stadium to be used temporarily, before a new facility is completed.

City staff, meanwhile, needs up to two months for property analysis and gathering public input on PSV’s preferred site, the Statesman noted.

According to the KVUE report, PSV needs to do more work on its proposal, so it’s unlikely that there will be any meaningful discussion of the matter at the Feb. 15 City Council meeting, as had been previously planned.

Butler Shores Park emerges as frontrunner location for MLS stadium [KVUE]

Expo Center trimmed from PSV’s list of Austin MLS stadium sites [AAS]

Austin identifies sites for viable MLS stadium or practice facility [AAS]

Columbus Crew SC owner exploring move to Austin [AAS]