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Signs of the times

Friday, February 23, 2018 by Chad Swiatecki

Local activists have taken to the Change.org petition site in an attempt to remove a second city park site from consideration for a possible 20,000-seat stadium to host a professional soccer club. The petition was originally intended for both the Butler Shores Metropolitan Park as well as Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Metropolitan Park, but Precourt Sports Ventures – the group pushing to move an Ohio Major League Soccer team to Austin – opted to remove Butler from consideration last month after public outcry. That means East Austin activists are now using the digital petition to push City Council members to get Guerrero Park pulled as well, claiming the stadium would cause environmental damage, disrupt the nearby community and overburden local infrastructure. As of Thursday night, the petition had just over 9,700 signatures toward its goal of 10,000. Council Member Pio Renteria, whose district includes the parkland, supports keeping the park as a possible stadium site despite a recent protest there against the issue. Renteria’s staff told the Austin Monitor that Renteria wants to see a possible development proposal from Precourt and then involve the community in evaluating its merits. Staff emphasized that any stadium project would see the city retain ownership of the property, and would need to include “significant community benefits” to earn support from Council members.

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