Butler Shores off the table as possible MLS stadium site

Austin MLS soccer stadium rendering. (Precourt Sports Ventures)
Austin MLS soccer stadium rendering. (Precourt Sports Ventures)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The lakefront location for a Major League Soccer stadium preferred by the team’s owner has been taken off the table, after several rounds of criticism from the neighborhood and some City Council members.

With the Butler Shores at Town Lake Metro Park/Toomey Fields site no longer in the running, that leaves Guerrero Metro Park and 10414 McKalla Place in north Austin as possible sites under consideration.

“Some in the community and the neighbors near Butler Shores have valid concerns about a possible stadium location at that site,” said David Greeley, president of Precourt Sports Ventures. “Based on this feedback, we are no longer exploring this location and are continuing our due diligence on other possible locations in the urban core.”

The company hopes to move Columbus Crew, a Columbus, Ohio professional soccer team, to a stadium within easy reach of downtown Austin. “We look forward to further community dialogue and collaboration, and we remain committed to finding the best possible stadium site for all involved,” Greeley continued.

Guerrero Metro Park, made up of baseball fields east of South Pleasant Valley Road and south of the Colorado River in southeast Austin, is similar to the Butler Shores site, and has also faced criticism as one of the choices for a stadium site.

Austin City Council members Ann Kitchen, Alison Alter, Jimmy Flannigan and Leslie Pool co-sponsored a resolution for consideration that would direct city staff to remove city parkland as an option for a stadium.

“We are taking this action because we believe as our city grows we must protect our parkland,” the council members wrote. “Parks are a legacy for the people of Austin’s future and losing valuable parkland for private, for-profit uses is not appropriate for our city.”

In response to the criticism this week, Precourt Sports Ventures asked city leaders to allow them an opportunity to “…demonstrate potential parkland improvements and community impact and benefits for Butler Shores or any of the other potential sites, which could lead to the possibility of a public vote.”

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