Austin FC has yet to announce the location or groundbreaking date for the club’s training facility, but the forthcoming building has a name. The club announced May 22 at its North Austin offices that the training grounds will be called the St. David’s Performance Center.
The facility naming rights are part of a sponsorship agreement between St. David’s HealthCare and Austin FC that will make St. David’s the official health care partner of the club.
In addition to the training facility naming rights, St. David’s President and CEO David Huffstutler said St. David’s will provide on-site medical support for each of the club’s 17 home games once Austin FC begins play in 2021 as well as medical care for all players and coaching staff, from the professional club to the development academy.
Huffstutler said the partnership gives St. David’s the chance to be associated with what he called “an exciting thing for the community” and will help Austin learn more about St. David’s HealthCare as it learns about the club.
“These things are never just 100% about business. It really is about presenting ourselves as partners,” he said.
Austin FC President Andy Loughnane said the club will announce additional founding partners––he expects somewhere between four and 10––as preparations continue for the start of play.
Loughnane did not reveal the financial terms or length of the deal with St. David’s but said sponsors come in at a “distinct level” to be considered a founding partner.
Other future corporate partnerships will include jersey rights and stadium naming rights, and Loughnane said he expects those announcements before the fall of 2020.
Before the announcement, a group of residents protested outside the club’s offices on Kramer Lane in North Austin, voicing their objections to Austin FC’s agreement with the city of Austin.
According to the terms of the agreement signed in December, the city will retain ownership of the stadium site at 10414 McKalla Place, meaning the team will not pay property taxes on the site. Austin FC will begin paying rent to the city in the sixth year of the lease agreement.
Team chairperson and CEO Anthony Precourt responded to the residents’ concerns.
“This is a democratic process. Everyone has a voice. It’s a process. We’ll get to the right outcome eventually,” Precourt said. “We’re going through it the right way through City Council and the city’s permitting and zoning process. It’s to be expected.”