Protesters demonstrate at potential MLS stadium site in Austin
Plans for the relocation of Columbus Crew SC to Austin drew further opposition on Saturday as over 60 people protested a potential stadium site in the Texas capital.
Those gathered objected to the use of public parkland for Precourt Sports Ventures' exploratory plans to move the MLS team from Columbus. PSV has said it is exploring dual options for a new stadium in both cities.
In Austin, PSV has offered to build a privately financed stadium but finding a location has proven difficult. From its initial list of five locations, Precourt is now down to two: Roy G. Guerrero Colorado River Park in east Austin and McKalla Place in north Austin.
The protesters at Guerrero Park on Saturday said they wanted to preserve the area.
"It really is a shock to me to think that we are now going to say that we can give some of our parkland away," Travis County Commissioner Margaret Gomez said, according to the Austin American-Statesman.
"No way. We're paying taxes for that land, and we want to keep it for families in this community."
PSV removed its preferred option at Butler Shores Metropolitan Park last week following similar complaints.
On Friday, the Austin Parks and Recreation Department asked the City Council to delay discussions on any stadium site while it conducted a "community engagement" program that could take three months. PSV released a statement saying it had expected a postponement.
The ownership group has also reportedly begun talks with new investors interested in keeping the team in Columbus.
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