The Latest: Austin council urged to approve stadium proposal

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – The Latest on the Austin City Council’s vote on a proposed MLS stadium (all times local):

6:10 p.m.

The owner of the Columbus Crew is urging the Austin City Council to approve a stadium plan as he explores moving his team from Ohio to Texas.

Anthony Precourt sent a letter to council members Thursday saying they have already negotiated one of the “most favorable” Major League Soccer stadium deals in the country with a proposal for a 20,000-seat privately funded facility on city land. Precourt’s letter to council members said “let’s bring Major League Soccer to Austin.”

Precourt has courted Austin since late 2017 in an effort to move one of MLS’s bedrock franchises. The Crew was one of the league’s founding teams when MLS began in 1996.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler supports the stadium plan but it faces a divided council. Public testimony and debate on the measure are expected to last late into the night.

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3:10 p.m.

The Austin City Council is scheduled to vote Thursday on a new stadium plan that could trigger a move by Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew to Texas.

Crew owner Anthony Precourt has been exploring a move to Austin and negotiating terms for city land to build a privately funded 20,000-seat stadium.

The Austin City Council is scheduled to hear public testimony. Consideration of the stadium proposal is expected to go late into the night and possibly into Friday.

The Crew has played in Columbus since MLS began in 1996.

Columbus hasn’t been willing to give up its team without a fight. Fan groups have rallied support and a state lawsuit has been filed to block a move. MLS Commissioner Don Garber has said the league is reluctant to see one of the original franchises move, but has backed Precourt’s desire to look for a new home.

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