The City of Austin and Precourt Sports Ventures on Wednesday agreed on the term sheet to build a Major League Soccer stadium at McKalla Place.
The announcement comes more than a year after Columbus Crew SC investor/operator Anthony Precourt announced his intentions to move the club to Austin and after hours of public and private City Council meetings.
According to the release, groundbreaking for the 20,000-seat stadium will begin in 2019 and it is set to be completed by 2021. MLS is still determining if Austin FC will begin play in 2020 at a temporary location or when the stadium is completed in 2021.
“We are thrilled to have taken this significant step toward bringing Major League Soccer to Austin and building a world-class soccer park,” Precourt said. “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 tax payer.”
The cost of the stadium will be approximately $225 million, a bit more than the original estimate. PSV will privately finance the stadium, but the City will own the building and lease it to the team, which will not pay property tax.
PSV will pay $550,000 annually in rent and contribute nearly $4 million to Capital Metro in the next 15 years.
The agreement mandates that there will be a fully-subsidized Development Academy for approximately 124 boys and agreed to support a Girls’ Development Academy and a Women’s Premier Soccer League club.
“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,” Mayor Steve Adler said in the release. “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.”
According to the agreement, if MLS does not announce the team by March 1, PSV can pull out at no penalty.
As the discussed during the original meetings, PSV will be responsible to contribute a certain amount of free tickets for every match. They will also give money towards affordable housing and other Austin charitable organizations, increasing in each year of the lease.
“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,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said. “The tremendous support from Austin’s passionate soccer fans, corporate community and local government is remarkable.”