I have this long-running debate with some pals out of Austin, including the unstoppable force behind Austin-based Free Beer Movement, about whether the city would be a fitting Major League Soccer destination.
Plenty of voices believe it is too much of a “football” town, with too much invested in University of Texas athletics.
I say, Austin has the same counter-culture feel and progressive element that has helped drive the fantastic success in places like Portland and Seattle. (I went to school at the University of Texas and kept bad company with some questionable women along Sixth Street back in the day, so I am not talking completely from a place of ignorance here.)
Austin is about to become the world’s epicenter for all things uber hip in music and technology with the latest SxSW festival going-ons, for instance.
As we pointed out recently, there are five or six cities in front of Austin at this point (including one, Atlanta, that is way, way out front).
As with San Antonio’s ongoing push to be a bigger MLS expansion player, there may be some push-back on a third market in Texas while areas further north in the Midwest remain somewhat underserved.
Still, is there movement toward an MLS attachment now in Austin? The piece linked there suggest something is up, although there aren’t many details.
The mayor is on board, which is nice. And there are commissions and economic feasibility studies and such in the works, so that’s a positive step, too – although still a long, long, long way from big-money and solid stadium plans. And that’s when this stuff gets real.