The resolution directs the Austin city manager to identify city-owned sites that could be used by an MLS team, as well as community benefits of a team playing there.
Amendments were added:
-- Broadening the search area beyond the urban core that MLS covets;
-- Reaffirming that no city money would be spent on the stadium; and
-- Appealing to other groups that might be interested in bringing an MLS team to Austin.
Precourt Sports Ventures is pushing to find a home in Austin with perhaps a move as early as 2019. It is seeking a 20,000-25,000-seat stadium and will need a training complex.
High-powered Austin lobbyist Richard Suttle spoke on behalf of Precourt Sports Ventures, shaping his client's interest in Austin as an opportunity too good to pass up -- a chance to get an MLS team outside the current expansion process pitting 12 cities against each other for four spots no earlier than 2020.
"There are 12 other cities in the country competing to get an expansion team and get exactly what we’re doing offered here tonight and not have to go through the expansion process,” the not so subtle Suttle said. “As part of that, [Precourt Sports Ventures CEO] Anthony Precourt has said he’s not looking for public funding for the stadium. I don’t know how I can be any more broad than that.”
The city council is expected to receive the study on possible city sites at its Dec. 7 meeting.
Precourt Sports Ventures statement: "Austin City Council unanimously passed a resolution today directing city staff to identify potential locations for a soccer park in Austin, including city-owned land in the urban core. While this is an early step, it is an important one that underscores Precourt Sports Ventures’ belief that Austin would be an excellent home for a Major League Soccer club. We are encouraged by Council’s decision and look forward to working with city staff to find an appropriate site with the potential to provide extensive community benefits to greater Austin and its residents. With the right site, Precourt Sports Ventures remains committed to privately funding the construction of a soccer-specific facility. We appreciate the warm welcome from the Austin community and thank Council for its leadership and support of bringing Major League Soccer to Austin."