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Elizabeth Pagano is the editor of the Austin Monitor.
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Stadium scuffle continues
Thursday, January 25, 2018 by Elizabeth Pagano
The battle lines have become quite clear in the debate over where in Austin a new soccer stadium might be constructed, and the front line has become Butler Shores Metropolitan Park. Following an Austin Monitor story about a resolution from Council Member Ann Kitchen – then just conceptual, but now actual, with three co-sponsors – the owners of the Columbus Crew soccer club that want to relocate the team to Austin have said they’re not giving up their hopes of building the 20,000-seat facility near the downtown waterfront.
In a widely distributed press statement, Dave Greeley, president of Precourt Sports Ventures, said the group is still conducting an impact analysis on the Butler Shores site. They plan to present those findings ahead of the Feb. 15 Council meeting where a vote on Kitchen’s resolution is expected to take place.
Polling data tells us the vast majority of Austinites want a Major League Soccer team; we recognize some have reservations about locating a soccer park on parkland.
Since city staff developed the list of potential sites for a proposed Major League Soccer stadium at the direction of Council, Precourt Sports Ventures has researched the merits of each, including Butler Shores, Roy Guerrero Park and McKalla Place. As we have stated from the onset of this process, finding the right site for a stadium will be of the utmost importance as we contemplate bringing MLS to Austin. With that in mind, we have done comprehensive work on the Butler Shores site, including independent studies on traffic, parking, lights and sound, among others, and that will be complete in the next few weeks. We will share these critical findings with the community and City Council before the February 15 council meeting, so that Austin’s elected officials can make an informed decision.
Before any of the sites are removed from consideration, we hope council will allow us the opportunity to demonstrate potential parkland improvements and community impact and benefits for Butler Shores or any of the other potential sites, which could lead to the possibility of a public vote.
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