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Austin Council postpones vote on soccer stadium

The Austin City Council is scheduled to vote Thursday on a new stadium plan that could bring Major League Soccer to the city. (Stadium rendering courtesy: Precourt Sports Ventures)

UPDATE 11:25 p.m.: After several hours of debate, the Austin City Council decided to postpone a vote on a professional soccer stadium until next Wednesday.

City Council pushed the vote because more than half of the members proposed amendments to the agenda item.

Council members Pool, Garza, Tovo, Alter, Casar, and Troxclair all submitted amendments.

The delay in voting will give council members more time to read through each of the amendments. They expect to make the vote before noon Wednesday.

That meeting will be closed to public comment.

Lawyers for Precourt Sports Ventures told Council they will have to ask for an extension from the MLS tomorrow. The extension is for the deadline to notify the league the team has a stadium site set.

PSV's lawyers also said if MLS rejects their extension request, Austin will no longer get a team.

Precourt Sports Ventures released the following statement:

"We respect the City’s desire to take more time to consider this important project, and we will continue to work with them over the coming days. We wish to extend our sincere thanks to City Council and City staff for their efforts as we collectively work toward a decision on August 15.
This step would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of Austin soccer supporters, Central Texas soccer clubs and their families, local businesses and chambers of commerce, and the countless volunteers who have worked to bring MLS to the Austin community.”

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Thursday night, Austin City Council will spend several hours taking up the contentious debate about building a professional soccer stadium in Austin. The conversation is expected to last from 6 p.m. until midnight.

However, one group of Austin residents says Thursday night's council vote should not be their last vote about the stadium.

If approved Thursday, Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk and Precourt Sports Ventures would negotiate the details of PSV funding a soccer stadium on city land. Indy Austin says those details need one more round of council approval.

"They can be held accountable. They're about to go -- half of them -- into an election. We want to know how they voted and on exactly what they voted," Curtis says.

Indy Austin isn't stopping there. They say the stadium deal should also be approved by the people.

"If they don't put it on the ballot we will exercise our right as citizens to petition," Curtis says.

Stadium supporters like Kollin Brandenburg are ready to see this deal be done.

"It's been going on for almost a year at this point. I think city council is getting worn out. The fans... we're all just ready to cheer on the team," Brandenburg says. He wants to see city council approve the basic terms of the agreement Thursday night so the city manager can move forward with final negotiations.

"As Mayor Adler said, it's one of the best stadium deals in history," Brandenburg says. While it's been a divisive road he believes having a team in Austin could connect the community.

"It brings together different groups and backgrounds. It doesn't matter where you're from you can love soccer," adds Brandenburg.

The last major city council meeting about approving a privately funded soccer stadium on public land lasted until 3 a.m. Austin City Council has already said they will not deliberate the stadium issue past midnight. If they don't make a decision by then, they say continuing the conversation Friday could be an option.

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