AUSTIN — The City of Austin released its official report that analyzed 10414 McKalla Place for its potential use as a Major League Soccer stadium, Friday, June 1.
Led by the City of Austin’s Economic Development Department, experts from 20 city departments examined various components to understand whether this site can accommodate a stadium. Staff included individuals such as city planners, transportation personnel and other subject matter experts, according to the press release. The conclusive assessment indicated that this area is a suitable site for a Major League Soccer stadium, according to the report.
Summarized are the possible impacts associated with the 24-acre property such as transportation network, utility infrastructure and economics.
The same day, Precourt Sports Ventures released a proposal to the City of Austin detailing the terms involved in building the privately financed stadium. Here are the highlights of the proposal:
- The Stadium shall be a new, first class, state-of-the-art, natural grass, open-air facility that will serve as the home of the MLS club and will also host concerts, sporting events, cultural and community oriented events, projected to open prior to the commencement of the 2021 MLS season.
- The City will own the land, infrastructure and stadium. The stadium will be privately financed and developed by PSV on behalf of the City, and donated to the City upon completion.
- The Club shall determine a project budget for the design, development, and construction of the Stadium and a reasonable contingency amount, such total cost currently estimated not to exceed $200 million; and will be responsible for cost overruns.
- The project will achieve an Austin Energy Green Building Commercial rating of at least two (2) Stars and will make good faith efforts to adhere to the City’s economic inclusion practices and to involve the Workers Defense Project with the Stadium Project.
- The Club shall be responsible for all operating expenses and routine maintenance and repairs; capital repairs, replacements, and improvements; and shall pay for all utilities associated with the operation of the Stadium Site.
- During the initial 20-year term (and during any renewal term), the Club shall pay a fixed rental fee of $1 annually.
- Pursuant to the Texas Constitution, the Texas Tax Code and other Applicable Law, the Stadium, as a City-owned facility, shall be exempt from property taxes.
- The Club will donate $4.8 million to Foundation Communities over 25 years, including an up-front donation of $500,000 to Foundation Communities’ new project at 12207 Waters Park—which includes 130 units of affordable housing less than two miles from McKalla Place—as well as continuing to explore the possibility of onsite affordable housing at McKalla Place.
In response to the report from PSV, the Greater Austin Chamber released the following statement:
"From the start, we have been pleased to be a leading advocate for the first major league sports franchise in Austin. We thank Precourt Sports Ventures (PSV) for its commitment to bring world-class, professional soccer to our community," said Phil Wilson, Chairman of the Board, Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce. "We have followed PSV’s creation of a strong local team to execute a great new venue in the core of the city. We laud their commitment to partnering with Austin on affordability. With PSV’s commitment of more than $354M in community benefits, including specific donations to Foundation Communities, we hope Austin City Council will act this month to close this game-changing partnership."
The land, which is currently undeveloped, was purchased by the City of Austin in 1995 and has been under the city’s ownership ever since. It is located near the corner of Braker Lane and Burnet Road.
Originally, the area had been zoned for redevelopments such as affordable housing, creative spaces and parks as outlined by City staff at the March 6 City Council Work Session. If a Major League Soccer stadium was not sited at McKalla Place, this alternative plan could be used, according to the report.
“I’m confident this report will add context to future discussions our City Council will have on the uses for McKalla Place,” said Rebecca Giello, interim director of the Economic Development Department.