Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Soccer officially announces Austin FC as 27th club

January 15, 2019 - 4:42 pm

AUSTIN (KJCE) -- Austin has officially been awarded its first major league sports franchise.

Major League Soccer officially welcomed Austin FC as its 27th club, set to begin play in the spring of 2021. MLS Commissioner Don Garber, flanked by Austin FC Chairman & CEO Anthony Precourt and Austin Mayor Steve Adler, made the announcement at a team event Tuesday afternoon.

"Austin is a thriving metropolitan city – the embodiment of what we mean when we say MLS is a 'League for a new America,'" Garber said. "We are extremely proud to be the first major professional sports league to become part of the fabric of this important and thriving American city. In their support of a world-class soccer stadium that benefits the entire community, the leadership of the City of Austin has shown tremendous faith in our league and the sport of soccer in North America. I want to thank Anthony Precourt for his continued commitment to our league and Mayor Adler and the political leadership of the City of Austin for their belief in Major League Soccer."

Precourt and the City of Austin recently signed an agreement for the team to build and develop a soccer stadium on City-owned land at McKalla Place in North Austin. The publicly-owned $225 million project on 24 acres will feature a 20,000-seat, natural grass stadium and public park. Groundbreaking for the new stadium will take place later this year and officially open with the club’s historic first home game in the spring of 2021.

"This is a very proud moment, and we are so happy to share it with the people of Austin, City leadership, the dedicated soccer fans of the region, and everyone who believed in our mission to bring Major League Soccer to this incredible community," said Precourt. "The greatest way we can show our gratitude is in our actions as leaders of Austin FC. Our intent is to build a team that will be a perennial contender for MLS Cup, to build a stadium at McKalla Place that rivals the best sporting venues in North America, and to cultivate a club culture that brings people together and always give back."

"This is a historic day for Austin, as MLS becomes the first major league to plant roots in our beautiful city," said Austin Mayor Steve Adler. "We believe professional soccer will bring a great and especially needed benefit to our city. In two years, this team and an elite soccer stadium will bring together all kinds of people from all over Austin in a way that we do not gather today. This is one important way we become a more socially integrated community. Thank you to Precourt Sports Ventures and MLS for bringing this opportunity to all the residents of Austin!"

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