Vision of downtown pro soccer stadium: 20,000-seat facility with views of Austin skyline

There is a lot still up in the air when it comes to whether the Columbus Crew professional soccer team will move from Ohio to Austin.

That includes a potential stadium deal that would support a Major League Soccer club. Though nothing has been finalized, a new rendering from Crew owner Precourt Sports Ventures presents an alluring picture of what a downtown arena might look like — including a dramatic view of the skyline.

Butler Shores Metropolitan Park is a clear frontrunner in the eyes of PSV. Richard Suttle, an attorney with Armbrust & Brown PLLC who is working with the Crew owner in Austin, has called the site at 200 South Lamar Blvd. “virtually perfect” for a modern stadium in the heart of Austin’s urban core.

Conceptual plans shared by PSV show a 20,000-seat facility on the west end of Butler Shores with the east side of the park preserved. The stadium would be about 69 feet tall, or slightly shorter than the nearby Zach Theatre and about 16 feet shorter than Barton Place Condos. It would be about as large as Mike A. Myers Stadium on the University of Texas campus, or Austin Independent School District’s House Park on Lamar Boulevard near 13th Street.

“We are hopeful there will be several sites considered by city staff for the stadium and practice facility. While there may be others, our initial thought is 200 South Lamar seems virtually perfect for a modern, urban Major League Soccer soccer stadium as long as it is compact and designed with minimum traffic, light and sound impact as a priority,” Suttle said in a statement.

Visions of the stadium at Butler Shores have raised concerns about traffic in a congested part of the city. Suttle acknowledged those worries but said after looking at other MLS stadiums nationwide, PSV thinks it can build a succesful stadium “with little-to-no onsite parking.”

He added: “We envision convenient shuttles, ride sharing and a march-to-the-match, among other options.”

Austin City Council has authorized a study of whether city-owned land could be used for a stadium, including parks. That report is due Dec. 14.

“Whatever becomes the preferred site, we will start a comprehensive process of involving neighbors and other stakeholders to create a facility the whole community can embrace,” Suttle said.

Source: Austin Business Journal
Will Anderson, Digital Editor

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