Benefits of Austin FC’s potential move

Max Domel, Staff Writer

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After many trying years of getting a professional sports team in the Texas capital, Austin finally has one, Austin FC. Austin has always had huge festivals like ACL and SXSW, but will now be a part of Major League Soccer’s national platform.

Austin is a city of connected people, but nothing brings people together like the love for a professional soccer team. Many people who live in Austin watch University of Texas (UT) sports, especially UT alumni and college sports fans. A professional team would be something all kinds of people throughout Austin could share and unite around, especially for the growing soccer crowd.

Austin FC could give back to the city in other ways besides boosting the overall morale. The building of the stadium alone will create a couple hundred jobs, which doesn’t even include the jobs the actual club and other related associations will require. As requested by city Councilman Greg Casar, Precourt Sports Ventures will spend $5 million to create an acre of land with 130 affordable housing units near the stadium.

Austin FC will also have its own club for youth soccer players, accompanied by a Development Academy, which could help popularize soccer amongst younger kids and help them develop in the sport. Talented young players throughout Central Texas could eventually train with the US Men’s and Women’s National Team and compete in the Olympics. Lonestar Soccer Club, which is based in the Austin area, will receive additional funding to get players from lower-income areas as well.

While there are many concerns with traffic and transportation regarding the stadium lot, those issues will not become overbearing at any time. Austin FC will not play in their new stadium, McKalla Place, until 2021, which would be their third season of playing in the MLS. By then, any previous traffic or transportation-related conflicts would have already been dealt with or at least addressed. Plans would have already gone into effect to reduce traffic and provide more efficient transportation systems.

It is easy to tell how pleased people are with getting the team here because of how many people there are wearing AFC apparel around the city every day. The energy building off Austin FC is unprecedented. This is officially the new era of soccer in Austin. Stay tuned, and stay excited for March 2019. The wait will be over, and definitely well worth it.