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Crew SC relocation uncertain as Austin City Council reviews stadium details

Proposed site plan for Austin stadium. (MLS2ATX.com)

Austin City Council is hung up on the details of Precourt Sports Ventures’ stadium proposal, leaving relocation of Crew SC from Columbus hanging in the balance.

After their first review of the $200 million stadium proposal Tuesday, council members still have questions, according to various reports from local media. Of particular concern is the financial structure of a deal that would see PSV collect revenue on a tax-exempt stadium, with one council member reportedly citing an economic report about the detriments of publicly financed stadiums.

“Austin is wonderful, but we don’t defy the laws of economics,” Council Member Alison Alter said, according to the American-Statesman. “According to this proposal, we’re giving away our land for free. I have an issue with that.”

Other council members said there are still questions left to be answered about the arrangement being proposed for the city-owned McKalla Place tract.

“We haven’t yet decided whether a stadium is appropriate for this site because we don’t have sufficient information,” said Council Member Leslie Pool, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

No action was taken, according to the American-Statesman. Austin City Council is expected to review the topic again on June 28.

The city’s consultant, Brailsford & Dunlavey, did make a recommendation on Tuesday: That any stadium lease deal be protected should PSV uproot the club to another city.

“The notion here is that there should be some mechanism in the lease that prevents the team from defaulting on the lease and moving out of town should it ever desire to do so,” a Brailsford & Dunlavey representative said, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

PSV, which in October announced it was exploring a relocation, has a lease for Mapfre Stadium in Columbus through 2023 but wants to play in Austin in 2019.

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