In a March 13 letter to Austin City Council, Precourt Sports Ventures LLC outlined its commitment to the community agreement and the $326 million in benefits the city could see from a new soccer stadium in North Austin.
Anthony Precourt, chairman and CEO of Precourt Sports Ventures, which owns the Columbus Crew soccer club, has been pursuing Austin as an ideal location to build a Major League Soccer stadium and relocate his team.
“With the right site, we will build a world-class, privately financed soccer park and grounds to provide the community with numerous economic and social benefits,” he said in the letter. “The right site will also help assure Major League Soccer’s approval of the location.”
Precourt began focusing efforts on the 23.5-acre city-owned McKalla Place site off Burnet Road near The Domain after other city-owned properties were removed from consideration after public backlash.
Last Thursday, Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo announced she is sponsoring a resolution directing the city manager to conduct a deeper analysis of the site for an MLS stadium. The resolution notes that the McKalla [Place] property “could be well-poised for a soccer stadium” because of its location in an urban area close to several nearby businesses, as well as its size, accessibility and “potential for employment opportunities.”
In bringing MLS to Austin, Precourt said he also wants to contribute to the community and that he would agree to partner with the Workers Defense Project, an advocacy group for low-income workers.
Here are the other estimated MLS stadium benefits as provided by Precourt:
- $326 million total community benefits over 25 years
- $200 million for construction
- $6.25 million to local companies to provide goods and services
- $4 million in donations to nonprofits with fundraising opportunities through food service operations
- $2.5 million in donations to nonprofits and an estimated 2,500 in volunteer hours from Precourt employees, such as at Foundation Communities and the Boys & Girls Club
- $1.35 million in direct revenue to local small food and beverage companies
In addition to monetary benefits, Precourt proposed other ideas for community benefit:
- Allow community use of the soccer stadium, including for Austin ISD
- Host local youth soccer leagues and sports camps
- Donate tickets to local organizations
- Partner with local organizations to develop a neighborhood cultural celebration, including a music and arts festival
- Develop an annual concert featuring local musicians
“McKalla Place may require strategic investments to improve the site for readiness, but it carries potential should cooperation from a variety of private and public interests form,” Precourt said.