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The Push is on for MLS in Texas

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Mapfre Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Photo: Columbus Crew SC / Facebook

By Evan Weiner |

Austin, Texas, could have a Major League Soccer team soon if the city council decides to go ahead and finalize stadium plans that would bring the Precourt Sports Ventures owned Columbus Crew to the city.

That could happen on August 9. The details still need to be worked out but the city apparently wants the team because the city hired a consultant who gave city leaders the right answers to the questions that politicians normally ask or are told to ask. Will having a soccer team in a new Austin stadium be good for the city and taxpayers?

Chris Dunlavey, who is advising the city in negotiations, told the Austin American-Statesman: “I think the city of Austin has negotiated this to as favorable for a city as PSV could stand to do.”

A non-answer. Austin residents will pick up some of the cost for the development of the land that Precourt Sports Ventures will use to build the facility. The team owner will pay for the facility but no one knows how a rail station that would be built to get people to the soccer stadium will be funded and that is just one of the many questions that needed to be answered.

Meanwhile, MLS Commissioner Don Garber doesn’t want to see Columbus without a team and came up with a vague notion that the league is ready to help out if there is a way to remain in the Ohio capital.

“You’ve heard me say many times, moving a team is never something that any league wants to do. We are where we are, and we’ve accepted the fact that we have real challenges there, and we’re going to try and come up with an alternative that ultimately long term is going to be the best one for MLS.”

It’s just business and politics nothing personal.

This article was republished with permission from the original publisher, Evan Weiner.

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