US$225m Austin MLS stadium gets green light

US$225m Austin MLS stadium gets green light
Plans to build a US$225 million, 20,000-capacity stadium for an upcoming Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise in Austin have been approved by the city and its investor.

The project, which will include the construction of a park and stadium in the Texas state capital, will be privately funded by Precourt Sports Ventures (PSV), a private equity firm based in California, and paid in monthly instalments to the City of Austin.

Works are due to begin next year and won’t be finished until early 2021. Austin FC, which has signed an initial 20-year lease to play home games at the venue, are yet to find out whether they will debut in the MLS in 2020 or 2021.

MLS commissioner Don Garber welcomed the agreement between PSV and the City of Austin.

“Austin is a thriving, dynamic and multi-cultural city, and we are very excited that the city and Precourt Sports Ventures have finalised 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,” he said.

“The tremendous support from Austin’s passionate soccer fans, corporate community and local government is remarkable.”

PSV will pay US$550,000 annual rental payments to the city, on top of capital reserves. The cost of the build will have no impact on the city’s taxes, according to the city, which will retain ownership of the land and stadium.

“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’s city mayor Steve Adler said in a statement released on Wednesday.

“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.”

When finished, the multi-purpose venue will also remain open to the public between match days, while Austin FC also plans to invest in local youth soccer, non-profit causes as well as affordable housing and the city’s metro system.

PSV’s chairman Anthony Precourt said that the project will also come as a jobs boost for the city.

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