Columbus Crew owners make MLS stadium proposal after Austin finds site suitable

The owners of Columbus Crew SC published a proposal to build a $200 million stadium in Austin, Texas, after a report from the city found the planned location to be a "suitable site."

Crew owners Precourt Sports Ventures (PSV) have been searching for a stadium site since announcing plans to potentially relocate the MLS club last October.

After being rebuffed from using various parks around the city, PSV settled on a city-owned 24-acre site at McKalla Place in north Austin near the Domain, and the city's report, with contributions from 14 departments, did not object to its use for a stadium.

"Overall, staff's assessment indicates that McKalla Place is a suitable site for a Major League Soccer stadium," the report said. "There is current compliant zoning, sufficient utility capacity, and daily on-site trips would be low."

That sparked PSV to file a 189-page proposal that laid out the benefits of bringing an MLS team to the city and asked for the land in exchange for constructing a privately financed stadium.

A 2017 appraisal lists the site's value at $9.645m, but the city's report also calls for nearly $30m in infrastructure costs, including $13m for a new MetroRail stadium, the costs of which could be negotiated.

In Cincinnati's recent deal to build a new MLS stadium, the city's city council agreed to pay $34.8m in infrastructure costs for the club's otherwise privately financed stadium.

PSV's plan said the stadium could have a $354m impact over the next 25 years, but the city's report produced an even larger estimate of $384m over 20 years.

PSV, which also revealed the first renderings of the potential stadium on Thursday, is hoping to get a deal in place for the stadium before the city council's summer break the end of the month.

The ownership group's plan calls for the stadium to open by the start of the 2021 season.

A stadium deal would all but seal Crew SC's relocation from Columbus, though MLS and PSV are still facing a lawsuit over the plans to leave Ohio.