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Crew SC owner homes in on Austin stadium site

Oct 31, 2017; Columbus, OH, USA; Columbus Crew SC Investor operator Anthony Precourt watches from his booth in the first half against the New York City FC at MAPFRE Stadium (Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports)

The owner of Columbus Crew SC is homing in on a stadium site in Austin, Texas.

Anthony Precourt, CEO of Precourt Sports Ventures, said on Thursday “we’re impressed with the potential at McKalla Place,” north of the city’s downtown.

“We continue to believe Major League Soccer can integrate into the heart and soul of the Austin community,” the statement reads. “We’ve heard the concerns about a possible site for a stadium. Soccer is inclusive and celebratory, so we want to shift the focus onto the long-term benefits of a location that works for everybody. We’re impressed with the potential at McKalla Place and believe we could create a privately-funded, world-class soccer stadium there.

“We’re looking forward to working together with the city as we continue to assess the viability of this site. One of the most exciting things we’ll do is to share with the community a detailed list of benefits Major League Soccer could bring to Austin, especially to young people. I just read an article in the Austin American-Statesman that illuminated challenges kids who live in East Austin face when trying to find good access to soccer. We want to help with that and a number of other important issues in this wonderful city.”

The statement was released on Crew SC’s media day, in which players and team personnel had to address questions about off-field distractions. It also comes three days after Ohio’s Attorney General filed suit against Precourt and Major League Soccer, aiming to block the club’s relocation.

On February 27, Precourt broke a months-long silence by issuing a similar statement touting MLS prospects in Austin—during the season kick-off party for Columbus supporters.

Precourt first announced his plans to relocate last October, citing flagging business metrics in Columbus.

Crew SC kicked off the 2018 campaign with a surprising win at defending champion Toronto FC. The opener in Columbus is at 1 p.m. on Saturday against the Montreal Impact.

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