Precourt Sports Ventures has released renderings for a stadium at the city-owned McKalla Place site in north Austin, Texas.
The renderings revealed Thursday come a day before Austin city staff is expected to release its report on the nearly 25-acre location. Austin City Council in March passed a resolution asking the city manager to conduct site analysis and a community engagement process for the site. PSV, which operates the Crew, announced that it had narrowed its focus to McKalla Place in early March. The group announced in October that it would explore the possibility of relocating Crew SC to Austin after the 2018 season, citing struggles with attendance and corporate sponsorship and an aging Mapfre Stadium on the state fairgrounds.
The stadium renderings, produced by Gensler, CAA Icon and Austin-based TBG Partners, are conceptual images of the southwest end, interior and northwest edge of the stadium. PSV has said throughout the potential relocation process that it would privately finance a $200 million stadium in Austin at the appropriate site.
Jonathan Emmett, principal and design director of the Gensler Sports Practice, said in a statement the stadium provides an “incredible opportunity” to create a “world class match-day experience.”
“While influenced by great European venues, with intimate seating bowls that put fans right on top of the action, we are also drawing heavily on the incredibly diverse and vibrant local culture, to create a uniquely ‘Austin’ experience for MLS fans,” he said. “The venue and match-day experience will incorporate strong local influences on food (and) beverage; live music and technology. Careful orientation and the design of the roof canopy will ensure ample shading while strategically placed open corners will allow for cooling breezes.”
The design, similar to a McKalla Place site plan released earlier this month, includes a few amenities like landscaped spaces. That site plan noted space for three parking lots totaling approximately 1,000 spaces.
“Austinites have a strong connection to the outdoors and recreation, the soccer park will provide access to great landscaped spaces and trails to an area of the city that is underserved in this respect,” Emmett said.
The rendering is the second set released by PSV in Austin. The first, released in December, was for PSV’s first-choice site, Butler Shores Metropolitan Park, located just south of Downtown Austin. PSV moved on from the site in January amid public protest to the use of parkland for a stadium site and shifted its focus to McKalla Place after similar concerns were raised over the use of Guerrero Park, located further east, for a potential stadium.
Austin City Council meets June 14 and June 28 before breaking until August.
Asked after the Cincinnati expansion announcement Tuesday when he would like to see the Columbus relocation situation resolved either way, MLS Commissioner Don Garber did not elaborate much beyond “as quickly as possible.”
“There’s another factor at (hand) here which is the lawsuit filed by the (Ohio) attorney general (in March, against PSV and MLS),” Garber said. “So while that’s going on there’s very little I can comment on as it relates to Austin or any other plans or anything like that. I can only speak to the league’s perspective.”
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