Precourt Sports Ventures announced Thursday evening, two days before Columbus Crew SC’s home opener, that the Black & Gold’s ownership group — which announced last fall the possibility of of a move to Austin, Texas — prefer the city owned land at McKalla Place in north Austin. The land lies approximately 10 miles north of downtown Austin in close proximity to the mixed use retail and commercial development “The Domain,” similar to the Easton Towncenter property on the the north east side of Columbus.
Currently McKalla Place is an unused restored brownfield site that has been owned by the City of Austin since 1995 and was on the initial list of sites offered to PSV by Austin City Council. Previously PSV has focused on Butler Shores and Guerrero Park, two parks that lie close to the downtown to Austin. Those choices were met with significant opposition by Austin locals that they are unlikely to face in acquiring the McKalla Place site.
While there are political benefits to choosing McKalla Place, there are still significant hurdles. While close to several major roads, the site suffers from significant infrastructure issues while the immediate neighbors are a mix of industrial buildings.
The only action in Columbus is the lawsuit that the State of Ohio and City of Columbus filed against the team to block the move.
PSV’s full statement:
We continue to believe Major League Soccer can integrate into the heart and soul of the Austin community. We’ve heard the concerns about a possible site for a stadium. Soccer is inclusive and celebratory, so we want to shift the focus onto the long-term benefits of a location that works for everybody. We’re impressed with the potential at McKalla Place and believe we could create a privately funded, world-class soccer stadium there. We’re looking forward to working together with the city as we continue to assess the viability of this site. One of the most exciting things we’ll do is to share with the community a detailed list of benefits Major League Soccer could bring to Austin, especially to young people. I just read an article in the Austin American-Statesman that illuminated challenges kids who live in East Austin face when trying to find good access to soccer. We want to help with that and a number of other important issues in this wonderful city.