Austin FC

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Austin FC
Austin FC logo.svg
FoundedJanuary 15, 2019 (7 months ago) (January 15, 2019)[1]
StadiumAustin FC stadium
Austin, Texas
Capacity20,500
OperatorTwo Oak Ventures, LLC
ChairmanAnthony Precourt
Head coachJosh Wolff
LeagueMajor League Soccer
WebsiteClub website

Austin FC is a professional soccer franchise based in Austin, Texas.[2] Austin FC will compete in Major League Soccer in 2021, and will open a new stadium on McKalla Place in north central Austin the same year.[3]

History[edit]

Austin FC will be the first top-division major professional sports team in the Austin area. The city's previous experience with professional soccer includes the Austin Aztex FC, which moved to Orlando in 2008 and would eventually become MLS side Orlando City SC, the 2011 reincarnation of the Austin Aztex which went on indefinite hiatus following the 2015 Memorial Day floods washing out their venue at House Park, and Austin Bold FC, which play in the second division USL Championship at Circuit of the Americas.[4][5]

In October 2017, Columbus Crew SC operator Precourt Sports Ventures announced their intention to move the group's MLS franchise rights to Austin for the 2019 MLS season.[6]

On August 22, 2018, the group unveiled the name and badge for the club at an event at the North Door on Austin's east side.[7][8] The crest was designed by local Austin brand studio The Butler Bros, who explained the badge as including the signature color "Bright Verde" to "project the vibrancy and creative energy of Austin", intertwined oaks that "stand for the bond between Club and City", and the four roots uniting all compass directions of Austin, North, East, South, and West.[9][10]

In October 2018, an Ohio-based group which includes Jimmy and Dee Haslam, owners of the National Football League's Cleveland Browns, and Columbus-based physician and businessman Pete Edwards, announced their intentions to acquire the Columbus Crew SC to keep the team from moving. MLS officials stated that if the transfer of the Crew's operating rights were successful, Austin FC would be established as an expansion team operated by Precourt to begin play by 2021.[11][12]

On December 19, 2018, Precourt Sports Ventures and the City of Austin reached a financing agreement for a new soccer-specific stadium to be constructed at McKalla Place, which is projected to open by early 2021.[2] Nine days after finalizing the stadium deal, Precourt Sports Ventures reached an agreement in principle to transfer the operating rights of the Columbus Crew SC to the Haslam and Edwards families in January 2019.[13]

On January 15, 2019, Austin FC was officially announced as an MLS club with a 2021 start date.[14][15][16]

On July 23, 2019, Austin FC announced that Josh Wolff would become the club's first ever head coach.[17]

Stadium[edit]

Austin FC will be the operators of a new stadium at 10414 McKalla Place. The stadium, built on public land and owned by the City of Austin, was privately financed by Precourt Sports Ventures. The lease was signed on December 19, 2018.[18]

Club culture[edit]

Supporters[edit]

Austin FC currently has one supporters group, the Austin Anthem.[19]

Ownership and management[edit]

Austin FC is owned by Two Oak Ventures, formerly known as Precourt Sports Ventures, which is led by CEO Anthony Precourt.[20] Other investing partners in Two Oak Ventures include actor Matthew McConaughey, local entrepreneur Eduardo Margain, Dell executive Marius Haas, and energy entrepreneur Bryan Sheffield.[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise announced in 2018 but will not begin play until 2021.
  2. ^ a b "City of Austin, Precourt Sports Ventures announce stadium deal agreement". MLSSoccer.com. MLS Digital. December 19, 2018. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  3. ^ "AUSTIN FC ANNOUNCES LEASE AGREEMENT FOR AUSTIN OFFICE SPACE NEAR McKALLA PLACE STADIUM SITE" (PDF) (Press release). Austin FC. December 19, 2018. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  4. ^ Salazar, Daniel (January 15, 2019). "It's official: Austin has its first major league sports franchise, MLS commissioner announces". Austin Business Journal. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  5. ^ West, Phil (January 3, 2019). "Austin soccer stadium opponents file petition seeking May vote". ProSoccerUSA.com. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved January 16, 2019.
  6. ^ Wahl, Grant (October 16, 2017). "Columbus Crew Angling Toward Relocation to Austin in 2019". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  7. ^ "Precourt Sports Ventures reveals badge for potential Austin MLS club". MLSSoccer.com. MLS Digital. August 22, 2018. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  8. ^ Bils, Chris (August 23, 2018). "City's MLS franchise to be dubbed Austin FC". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved December 20, 2018.
  9. ^ West, Phil (August 23, 2018). "Austin FC: Precourt Sports Ventures unveils new name, logo for proposed Texas MLS team". ProSoccerUSA. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  10. ^ Barbaro, Nick (August 22, 2018). "MLS2ATX reveals team name, logo, colors, and more". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  11. ^ "Cleveland Browns owners emerge as potential buyers of Columbus Crew SC". MLSSoccer.com. MLS Digital. October 12, 2018. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  12. ^ Clarke-Madison, Mike; Sanders, Austin; Barbaro, Nick (October 12, 2018). "MLS in Austin: Everybody Wins!". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
  13. ^ "Agreement reached for Haslam, Edwards families to operate Columbus Crew SC". MLSSoccer.com. MLS Digital. December 28, 2018. Retrieved December 29, 2018.
  14. ^ Bogert, Tom (January 15, 2019). "Austin FC to begin MLS play in 2021 as league's 27th club". MLSSoccer.com. MLS Digital. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  15. ^ Creditor, Avi (January 15, 2019). "MLS officially welcomes Austin FC as 27th franchise". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  16. ^ Bils, Chris; Bohls, Kirk (January 15, 2019). "Austin FC officially announced as 27th MLS club with 'local roots'". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
  17. ^ "Austin FC name Josh Wolff first head coach | MLSsoccer.com".
  18. ^ "10414 McKalla Place". AustinTexas.gov. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
  19. ^ Bils, Chris (January 9, 2019). "Austin FC reveals details for 'Legendary Announcement' next week, including sweepstakes". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
  20. ^ "Two Oak Ventures to own and operate Austin FC and attract local investors". MLSsoccer.com. July 17, 2019. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  21. ^ West, Phil (August 23, 2019). "Matthew McConaughey among four locals joining Austin FC ownership group". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved August 23, 2019.

External links[edit]