AUSTIN, Texas – The Austin city clerk has certified a petition with 29,000 signatures demanding voter approval for any future sports or concert venue that uses city-owned land before being granted final approval.
- City Clerk certifies petition
- Claim city fell through on promises for the land
- Want a community vote on the stadium in May
A group called Friends of McKalla Place filed the petition in January opposing the financing for Austin’s Major League Soccer Stadium deal. The city clerk verified that the petition has signatures from a minimum of 20,000 qualified voters.
With a deal already in place, however, the petition will not affect construction of an MLS stadium at McKalla Place, officials said. Instead, the petition, if approved by voters, would require a public vote on any future concert of sports venue that uses public land.
The $225 million stadium is scheduled to open at McKalla Place in North Austin at The Domain in 2021.
The group claims that the City of Austin fell through on promises with the community to build transit-oriented affordable housing and a park on the land. Additionally, they said after speaking to the neighborhood, residents fear the stadium’s impact on traffic, noise, and the environment.
“The City of Austin acknowledged the obvious: that tens of thousands of everyday Austinies have serious questions about the McKalla stadium deal,” said Francoise Lucas a spokesperson for Friends of McKalla Place. “That plan allows a billionaire to build a stadium on public land and then profit from it for decades with paying a dime in property taxes.”
"This corporate funded petition ordinance would be bad for Austin because it would make it harder to build some future cultural and music venues that benefit our community," Mayor Steve Adler said. "Salt in the wound, the special election alone might cost us up to $1 million if it’s the only thing on the ballot."