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Stadium site emerges in Austin for possible MLS franchise

With Columbus Crew owner Anthony Precourt reportedly pushing ahead for relocating the Crew from Columbus, Ohio to Austin, Texas, local reports state that a preferred stadium site has emerged for a potential new Major League Soccer franchise.

According to the Austin Business Journal a downtown park site is “virtually perfect” to house an MLS team in a soccer-specific stadium.

Butler Shores Metropolitan Park, a city-owned park close to Lady Bird Lake, has emerged as the frontrunner for the stadium with an Austin-based attorney working for Precourt Sports Ventures, Richard Suttle, stating the site was “virtually perfect for a modern, urban MLS stadium.”

Suttle added that other sites were being considered but it appears this public park in the heart of downtown Austin would fit the bill when it comes to following the model set by recent MLS soccer-specific stadiums such as Orlando City, Houston Dynamo and Minnesota United.

Other reports out of Austin believe the stadium will cost over $200 million and that a city election would need to be held over the privately funded stadium, which could throw a spanner in the works as Precourt wants the stadium deal to be in place by next summer.

All of this will twist the dagger already embedded into the hearts of Columbus Crew fans, just days after their team were eliminated from the 2017 MLS Cup playoffs in the Conference final by Toronto FC.

With City Officials in Columbus offering options to build the Crew a new stadium downtown after meeting with Precourt and MLS last month, there was hope that one of the original MLS franchises could remain in Columbus.

Reports like this seem to suggest that with the 2017 MLS season over, Precourt is pushing ahead with his relocation efforts.