Major League Soccer makes it official: Austin FC to be 27th MLS team

    (Courtesy: Austin FC)

    Even though a stadium deal was in place and the team had already begun hiring employees, Austin getting its own soccer team still wasn't "official."

    That changed on Tuesday afternoon.

    MLS Don Garber and Austin FC Chairman/CEO Anthony Precourt joined Austin Mayor Steve Adler and former Team USA member Alexi Lalas to officially announce the formation of Austin FC, Major League Soccer's 27th team.

    This is the City of Austin's first professional sports team.

    "People have waited a long time for professional sports to come to Austin," Adler said. "It's going to be exciting for this city to pull together, to gather people in this city from all different parts of this city in ways that, frankly, just does not happen in this city."

    The City of Austin and Precourt Sports Ventures finalized a deal on last month for a Major League Soccer stadium to be built on city-owned land at 10414 McKalla Place in north Austin.

    Originally, PSV owned the Columbus Crew, and had made plans to move the team to Austin. However, an ownership group bought the Crew, and are keeping them in Ohio.

    Now, Precourt will bring an expansion team to Austin.

    "This has been a long project and a long process to get to this day. I couldn't be happier for Austin, couldn't be happier for the fans," Precourt said.

    Fans waited in line for hours outside the bar where the announcement was made.

    "We always hear about the Texans and the Spurs, but we've never had anything central and local, so it really means a lot to have not just any team, but a soccer team represent the city," said Emma Hofmann.

    MLS Commissioner Don Garber says the plan is to have Austin FC kick off in March 2021. He also says he is hopeful the team will be successful in Austin.

    "You need to have a city that really wants you, and I mean that from the citizenship, and all of those things exist here. So now it's a matter of getting it all done," Garber said.

    Precourt says an announcement will come soon for when tickets will be on sale.

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