Capital Metro approves agreement for Austin FC to pay back $3.6 million in new train station construction costs

A rendering shows the McKalla Station near Austin FC's Q2 Stadium, which is scheduled to break ground in 2022. (Rendering courtesy Capital Metro)
A rendering shows the McKalla Station near Austin FC's Q2 Stadium, which is scheduled to break ground in 2022. (Rendering courtesy Capital Metro)

A rendering shows the McKalla Station near Austin FC's Q2 Stadium, which is scheduled to break ground in 2022. (Rendering courtesy Capital Metro)

When Austin FC plays its first home match June 19, fans riding the train will have about a 15-minute walk to Q2 Stadium from Kramer Station, the nearest stop on Capital Metro's MetroRail service.

The public transportation agency has plans to build a new station closer to the stadium soon. It expects to open McKalla Station in 2023 located just south of Braker Lane near the club's North Austin home.

Construction is set to begin in 2022, but before work starts, Capital Metro's board of directors had to approve a contract agreement May 24 that stipulates Austin FC will pay back some of the costs.

The station is estimated to cost about $24 million, although that number is subject to change as groundbreaking approaches, and Austin FC will take on $3.64 million of the expenses.

Those funds from the Major League Soccer club will not come all at once. According to the agreement the Capital Metro board approved May 24, the club will put $640,000 in an escrow account, which Capital Metro will then be able to use for bus and transit facilities near the stadium. Austin FC will pay the remaining $3 million in installments of $200,000 per year over 15 years, starting in spring 2022.

Austin FC agreed to the financial arrangement when it signed a lease agreement with the city of Austin in 2018. The club privately funded its $260 million stadium, while the city retained ownership of the land.

Once the McKalla Station and another new MetroRail stop near The Domain open within the next two years, Capital Metro plans to decommission its existing Kramer Station. For now, Capital Metro is restarting its Saturday service May 29, three weeks before the home opener, and it will increase frequency on its bus routes that serve the area near Q2 Stadium, including the MetroRapid 803 route and the MetroBus 3, 383 and 392 services.

Austin FC announced May 24 that it will allow up to full capacity at its 20,500-seat stadium for all its home matches as well as the U.S. Women's National Team's exhibition match against Nigeria on June 16. Single-game tickets go on sale to the public May 27.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to adjust the total cost estimate for the McKalla Station.
By Jack Flagler
Jack is the editor of Community Impact Newspaper's Central Austin and Southwest Austin editions. He began his career as a sports reporter in Massachusetts and North Carolina before moving to Austin in 2018. He grew up in Maine and graduated from Boston University, but prefers tacos al pastor to lobster rolls. You can get in touch at [email protected]


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