MLS Adds 27th Club Member, Austin FC in Texas
Major League Soccer will become the first major sports league to have a team in the city of Austin, Texas
Austin FC will begin play in 2021 Austin will be the league’s 27th member club.
Recently named the fastest-growing large city in the country, Austin will soon be home to a new, state-of-the-art soccer stadium located at the city-owned property 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 that will be entirely funded by Precourt Sports Ventures (PSV), the investor-operator of the club. 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.
“Austin is a thriving metropolitan city – the embodiment of what we mean when we say MLS is a ‘League for a new America,’” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber. “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.”
PSV was founded in 2012 by Anthony Precourt, who has been the managing partner at Precourt Capital Management since 2008. Prior to becoming investor-operator of Austin FC, PSV held the same responsibility for the last six years with Columbus Crew SC. Andy Loughnane, previously president of business operations of Crew SC, was named president of Austin FC on Jan. 3, providing the new club with experienced and highly-respected leadership in MLS.
“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.”
As the 11th-largest city in the U.S., Austin has boundless potential for soccer and aligns perfectly with MLS’ continued efforts to advance the game in the U.S. and Canada. Austin was selected by U.S. News and World Report in each of the last two years as the No. 1 place in the nation to live, while Forbes placed it at the top of its “Cities of the Future” list. A recent report ranked Austin sixth among U.S. cities for attracting millennials.
In addition to the hugely popular sports teams of The University of Texas at Austin, the state capital region is also the home of several professional minor league franchises. Since 1987, Austin has been the site of the renowned SXSW, one of the world’s largest gatherings of creative and innovative minds in the arts, technology, media and sports.
The addition of Austin enhances MLS’ footprint across North America. With FC Cincinnati beginning play this upcoming season, 17 clubs have joined MLS since 2005. In fulfilling a vision for strategic expansion that has transformed the landscape of professional soccer, clubs in Cincinnati, Miami, Nashville and now Austin have been added in just the last 13 months, and MLS will continue to grow in the coming years.
The debut of Austin FC in 2021 is expected to inspire more intense MLS rivalries across the state as they join FC Dallas and the Houston Dynamo in Texas.