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Austin City Council votes to begin discussions on MLS stadium; plans $925 million bond package

June 29, 2018 - 6:07 am
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AUSTIN (KJCE) -- In their last scheduled meeting before a summer break, Austin's City Council voted early Friday morning to begin discussions on a potential Major League Soccer stadium and a potential $925 million bond package on November's ballot.

City Council voted unanimously to begin negotiations with Precourt Sports Ventures on a potential MLS stadium to be built on City-owned land at 10414 McKalla Place, near Braker Lane and Burnet Road in north Austin. PSV, the owner of the Columbus Crew franchise, has been pushing its proposal for the site, which city staff has analyzed for its suitability and economic impact.

In recent weeks, there has been a call for alternative, mixed-use projects at the site including affordable housing. Council members voted 9-1 to also consider other proposals for the land, setting up council's next meeting on August 9 as a possible final decision.

Another complication moving forward is how the land was purchased back in 1995 - using funds from Austin Water revenue bonds, as a potential North Austin service center for the utility. That could, some critics say, open up the project to a legal challenge if the land is used for a soccer stadium.

In a separate action, council members voted to increase a potential November bond package from $816 million to $925 million. Here is how the funding breaks down under the new proposal:

  • Affordable Housing: $250 million
  • Transportation Infrastructure: $162 million
  • Flood Mitigation and Open Space: $184 million
  • Public Safety: $38 million
  • Parks Facilities: $291 million

Council members will decide in August on a final proposal to be placed on November's ballot.

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