The Austin City Council has voted to move ahead with a plan for a new, privately funded stadium on city land sought by the owner of MLS's Columbus Crew.
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – The Austin City Council has voted to move ahead with a plan for a new, privately funded stadium on city land sought by the owner of Major League Soccer's Columbus Crew for a move to Texas.
Crew owner Anthony Precourt has been courting Austin for a potential move since late 2017 and has sought a deal to build a 20,000-seat stadium on 24 acres of city property in time for the 2021 MLS season. Austin is the largest metropolitan area in the country without a major league sports franchise.
Precourt bought the Crew in 2013, and a move would uproot a bedrock MLS franchise. The 7-4 council vote Wednesday allows city staff to ''negotiate and execute'' a stadium plan with Precourt Sports Ventures. It was seen as the crucial vote in moving the team.
With a 7-4 vote #ATXCouncil authorizes negotiation & execution of agreements with Precourt Sports Ventures for the construction, lease & occupancy of a sports stadium & related development at City-owned 10414 McKalla Place, with the goal of completion for the 2021 @MLS season.— Austin Texas (@austintexasgov) August 15, 2018
Ohio officials have sued to try to block the move. Crew fan groups have also rallied in hopes of keeping their team in Ohio.