A deal has been reached for a new soccer stadium in the city of Austin, Texas, where new MLS team Austin FC will begin play in the near future.
Precourt Sports Ventures, LLC and the City of Austin announced on Wednesday a partnership has been finalized. As part of that deal, a privately-funded $225 million soccer park and stadium will be built at McKalla Place. Groundbreaking is scheduled to begin next year, with the 20,000-seat stadium projected to be ready in the spring of 2021.
The project will be funded privately by PSV, including all construction costs and operating expenses, during the course of the club's lease of the stadium from the city of Austin.
“Bringing major league sports to Austin will help bring all parts of our diverse city together, so today’s lease signing is very exciting for our community,” said Austin mayor Steve Adler in a statement. “The partnership between the team, the league and the city is a great deal for Austin. I can’t wait for us to celebrate our first MLS championship.”
“We are thrilled to have taken this significant step toward bringing Major League Soccer to Austin and building a world-class soccer park,” said Anthony Precourt, chairman of Precourt Sports Ventures. “We are extremely grateful to the City of Austin for allowing us to become a part of this wonderful community, and we are honored that through building this stadium we will be able to create jobs, provide a first-rate soccer and entertainment complex and bring a unifying platform for all of Austin to rally behind – all at no cost to the taxpayer.”
In addition to the stadium project, which will also be an entertainment and multi-purpose event venue for the city, there will also be a park and open space, for the public, on a year-round basis. Austin FC also plans to invest in local youth soccer, nonprofit causes and affordable housing in the area, among other initiatives.
“This agreement solidifies our partnership to bring Major League Soccer to Austin,” said Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo, who sponsored the resolutions. “Along with a professional sports franchise, PSV will also bring youth soccer programs, discounted and free tickets, and numerous other community benefits that will enrich our city for years to come.”
“Austin is a thriving, dynamic and multi-cultural city, and we are very excited that the city and Precourt Sports Ventures have finalized their lease which will allow for the construction of a soccer stadium and for the launch of an MLS club in the capital of Texas,” said Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber. “The tremendous support from Austin’s passionate soccer fans, corporate community and local government is remarkable.”
MLS is determining if Austin FC will begin play in either 2020 or 2021.
In addition to revitalizing the underutilized site at no cost to the city, highlights and benefits of the redevelopment over the initial 20-year lease term (and any renewal terms) include:
- $550,000 in annual rent payments paid to the city by PSV, on top of capital reserve fund contributions made by PSV.
- Net-positive contribution to the city’s annual operating budget according to the city’s estimates.
- No new or higher taxes for taxpayers with this redevelopment.
- More than $6.7 million of support for youth soccer programs, including clinics, camps, scholarships, equipment and gear donations, as well as the repair and construction of soccer fields and futsal courts.
- Nearly $4 million in direct contributions to Foundation Communities to build affordable housing at McKalla Place or another mutually agreed upon location.
- $2.43 million in charitable contributions and an additional 2,500 volunteer hours to Austin charitable organizations.
- $3.64 million in direct contribution to Cap Metro over 15 years.
- Private funding of site preparation and off-site infrastructure costs estimated at $3 million.
- Free open park, communal spaces and performance areas in a park-deficient neighborhood.
- Rent-free use of the facility by the city and affiliated public sector entities for civic-oriented events.
- Off-site traffic control, emergency responders and litter pickup on game and event nights paid by PSV.
- Opportunities for local, on-site food and beverage sales.
- City retains ownership of the land and stadium and has no responsibility for cost overruns.