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Precourt ups the ante

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Most discussions of the possible construction of a professional soccer stadium on city-owned land have included heavy use of the term “community benefits,” or what allowances developers and soccer club ownership will give to the city and residents in exchange for land use. On Tuesday Precourt Sports Ventures – the ownership group of the Columbus Crew Major League Soccer club that hopes to relocate to Austin – offered its first significant volley in the conversation now that the city’s McKalla Place property looks like the most likely spot for the 20,000-seat stadium. In a letter to City Council members, the group put forth a list of possible benefits, saying: “The following are ideas presented in an attempt to begin the discussions about potential community benefits and to make suggestions as a starting point. There is not an infinite number nor do we pretend to know or understand all of the needs or wants of the Community, but offer this as a conversation starter.”

The benefits include:

  • $6.25 million in sourcing payments for local companies for good and services
  • Up to $2.5 million and 2,500 annual volunteer hours given to local nonprofit organizations
  • $4 million in fundraising opportunities provided to nonprofit organizations
  • $1.35 million to local food and beverage companies servicing the stadium
  • The use of meeting and event space for neighborhood nonprofit organizations
  • One day of stadium use per year by the Austin Independent School District
  • Free soccer training for underserved youth
  • Youth soccer camps and clinics
  • Equipment donations to local athletes
  • 50 tickets minimum per game provided to local organizations
  • Partnering with local organizations to hold a neighborhood cultural celebration
  • Development of an annual concert featuring local musicians who will be highlighted with in-game performances

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