AUSTIN, Texas — The Austin City Council is moving forward with plans to bring Major League Soccer to the city in a vote after midnight on Friday.
The approved proposal plans to build a 20,000-seat soccer stadium near The Domain on city-owned land.
Team owners propose lease of $1 a year, but a 2016 appraisal lists site at almost $30 million with a lease of about $2 million a year.
Several Chambers of Commerce members have expressed support the soccer stadium plan.
Christopher Rios with the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber said a majority of Austin school students are Hispanic and could benefit from a professional team in town.
"It would be a wonderful thing to grant them the opportunity to have access to the resources that MLS provides. This type of social impact would also have tremendous economic benefit," Rios told Spectrum News.
Affordable housing was added to the plans this week, but no additional amenities that include competing bids for the site to build mixed use with affordable housing on-site.
The final steps for the proposal will be decided at the next City Council meeting on Aug. 9 after the summer break.
The council is making decisions on three MLS-related items:
1) City manager Spencer Cronk will now be asked to analyze the proposal from Precourt Sports Ventures, owner of Columbus Crew, and begin negotiations for a Major League Soccer stadium. The item calls for soliciting affordable housing plans on additional city-owned land.
2) The next item asks Cronk to solicit plans for the development of 10414 McKalla Place and look at options other than a soccer stadium.
3) The third item related to McKalla Place concerns the negotiation and execution of a $200,000 contract for legal services related to the development of a soccer stadium on city-owned land.
Precourt Sports Ventures released the following statement:
"Precourt Sports Ventures is pleased and grateful that Austin City Council has voted a unanimous 'yes' to enter into negotiations for a public-private partnership to develop a privately-funded stadium and soccer park at McKalla Place.
We have heard from a large number of Austinites, across all districts and backgrounds that the community remains strongly in favor of bringing MLS to Austin. We have acted as a collaborative partner with the city and remain optimistic on the prospects of negotiating a deal with the city on MLS2ATX. Our focus remains on creating a community asset that the vast majority of Austinites want.
Our goal is to be in a position to enter into an agreement on a public-private partnership with the city by the next council meeting on August 9. We thank Mayor Adler, Mayor Pro Tem Tovo and all council members who voted to support this next step in the process.
We also thank city staff, Austin soccer supporters, local soccer clubs and affiliated families, local businesses and chambers of commerce, and the countless volunteers that have worked tirelessly to give the community what it wants—Major League Soccer."