MLS: Austin soccer club Aztex hunts for downtown stadium

Aug 26, 2014
Austin Business Journal

As the Austin Aztex prepare to move up the ranks of American professional soccer, jumping from United Soccer Leagues' Premier Development League to the USL Pro league, the local professional sports community – as well as local soccer fans – are beginning to wonder if a Major League Soccer franchise is around the corner for Central Texas

While attracting a franchise of one of the big four leagues — Major League Baseball, the National Football League, the National Basketball Association, or the National Hockey League — is a long shot in the near future, some city economic development and policy leaders think an MLS team could be a possibility sooner rather than later. In late December 2013, MLS Commissioner Don Garber dropped Austin's name when speaking about his league's plans to expand to 24 teams by 2020. Soon, city officials were studying the feasibility of a downtown Austin stadium in a bid to court MLS. In April, a franchise was awarded to Atlanta instead

Now, a new article on Major League Soccer's website examines the history and peeks into the future of professional soccer in the Austin area

Notably, the report highlights the desire of the Aztex management to find a suitable site for a soccer stadium in downtown Austin. The team currently plays its games at House Park near Shoal Creek. The stadium's status as a high school sports venue means that professional teams can't sell booze there, potentially a turn-off to some who want to imbibe while watching a match

“Right now we’re really looking at downtown … not the suburb area,” Aztex co-owner Rene Van De Zande told reporter Nate Sulat. “There are a variety of opportunities where we could find an appropriate location that would absolutely meet our requirements and our wish to be within Austin proper.”

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