City and Precourt Sign Agreement to Bring Soccer to Town

Not whether, but when for Austin FC

City and Precourt Sign Agreement to Bring Soccer to Town

Now it's official; the city of Austin has finalized and signed an agreement with Precourt Sports Ventures that will bring an Austin FC soccer team to town in either 2020 or 2021. Groundbreaking on a $225 million soccer park at the 24-acre, city-owned McKalla Place site near the Domain is expected to occur in 2019, with the stadium officially opening in the spring of 2021.

The timeline for Austin's first major league sports team is loosely dependent on what happens in Ohio, where PSV CEO Anthony Precourt currently operates the Columbus Crew SC. Sources close to the deal tell the Chronicle that the outcome of a deal being worked out between the Haslam family (owners of the Cleveland Browns), Major League Soccer, Columbus, and Ohio officials will determine what team Austin gets – not whether Austin will get a team.

Team owners within MLS pay a fee to the league to license intellectual property and the rights to operate a franchise. Precourt owns such a license to operate the Crew, and MLS officials have granted him permission to take that license – and not the team itself – with him to a new city. Sources say that MLS officials are awaiting the outcome of the Haslam negotiations: If the family and the league agree on a deal (the ideal scenario), Precourt starts a new team in Austin, and Haslam would be allowed to purchase a new franchise license to keep the Crew brand, infrastructure, and team operating in Columbus. If that doesn't play out, Precourt could still move his license to Austin – but with the perception, justified or not, of having "stolen" the team from another city.

Got something to say? The Chronicle welcomes opinion pieces on any topic from the community. Submit yours now at austinchronicle.com/opinion.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More MLS in Austin
City, Austin FC Break Ground on New Soccer Stadium
City, Austin FC Break Ground on New Soccer Stadium
Construction of the 21,000-seat stadium has kicked off for Austin’s first major league sports team

Austin Sanders, Sept. 13, 2019

Austin FC Soccer Stadium Groundbreaking Nears
Austin FC Soccer Stadium Groundbreaking Nears
Major league organization preps to quickly build new stadium

Austin Sanders, Aug. 23, 2019

More by Austin Sanders
Can Spencer Cronk Weather the Storm After the Storm?
Can Spencer Cronk Weather the Storm After the Storm?
City manager once again at risk after "ice hurricane"

Feb. 6, 2023

D.A. Drops Charges Against One Officer (of 19) in Eighth Street Shootings
D.A. Drops Charges Against One Officer (of 19) in Eighth Street Shootings
Nicholas Gebhart faced trial in Brad Ayala case

Feb. 3, 2023

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

MLS in Austin, Austin FC, Precourt Sports Ventures, PSV, soccer, Major League Soccer, MLS, Columbus Crew, Haslam, Anthony Precourt, McKalla Place

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle