Austin council split going into June 28 vote on whether to open up bids on proposed Crew soccer stadium land

It looks like the soccer stadium vote at the final Austin city council meeting of the session on June 28 will come down to whether to open negotiations exclusively with Columbus Crew owner Anthony Precourt’s group or to put the McKalla Place land up for open bid:

Item 64 on the agenda is to approve a resolution that would direct the city manager to begin negotiating with Precourt Sports Ventures for a Major League Soccer stadium at McKalla Place in North Austin.

Item 60 is for a resolution that would direct the city manager to solicit development plans, including those for mixed-use developments, for McKalla Place.

The soccer-only plan is backed by Mayor Steve Adler and councilmembers Kathie Tovo, Sabino “Pio” Renteria, and Delia Garza; the open-bid plan is backed by councilmembers Leslie Pool, Alison Alter, Ora Houston, and Ellen Troxclair. That leaves three swing votes: Greg Casar, Ann Kitchen, and Jimmy Flannigan.

If you’re trying to handicap those swing votes, here’s their record so far on the Crew stadium debate:

So if we count Kitchen as leaning against the soccer-only deal, and Flannigan as leaning for, it looks like we could be headed for a very, very busy week of lobbying calls to Greg Casar. He might want to put in a call to Miami to talk to Michelle Spence-Jones for tips on haggling.

*CORRECTION: McKalla Place is indeed city-owned, but Kitchen was reportedly (see comments) opposed only to using city owned parkland for a stadium, not any city-owned land. So if Kitchen is indeed okay with the MLS-only plan, then maybe Casar’s phone won’t be ringing quite so much off the hook this week.


9 comments on “Austin council split going into June 28 vote on whether to open up bids on proposed Crew soccer stadium land

  1. Once this goes down i cant wait to not watch MLS ever again. I was already hanging on by a thread but continued because of Columbus. Good riddance.

      • As you should or do I need to point out the beyond awful TV numbers MLS has and how it’s outdrawn by cornhole and poker? Austin will not fix mls national perception of crap play and deception. As someone who lives in St. Louis I think it’s hilarious anyone would want to expand to austin.

  2. Neil, McKalla Place is not city parkland. It’s the site of a former chemical plant, and it is closed off to the public.

    I live here in Austin. I have talked to both Jimmy Flanagan and Ann Kitchen about this. They are both solidly for the stadium. Ann’s only concern was to prevent it from being built on parkland, and McKalla isn’t parkland.

    • Aha, I see – it’s the “parkland” part she’s opposed to, not the “city-owned”? Will correct this, thanks.

  3. As a resident of Columbus, this is pretty disgraceful. It’s a deal that Precourt pre-planned, with MLS providing full support. Very sad. (That being said, Columbus isn’t supporting the Crew well in attendance.)

    • No, we aren’t. I’m not interested in giving Anthony Precourt any more of my money. If he wasn’t the owner, I’d have been at many games this year.