Austin, Texas: Austin FC will join Major League Soccer as the league’s 27th club, MLS commissioner Don Garber said in a statement Tuesday.
Austin FC will become the third MLS team in Texas, joining the Houston Dynamo and FC Dallas.
Garber announced the news alongside Austin FC chairman and CEO Anthony Precourt and Austin mayor Steve Adler.
“Austin is a thriving metropolitan city — the personification of what we mean when we say MLS is a ‘League for a new America,'” Garber said in a statement. “We are extremely proud to be the first major professional sports league to become part of the culture of this historic American city.
“In their support of a world-class soccer stadium that benefits everyone, the leadership of the City of Austin has shown tremendous faith in our league and game, and Anthony Precourt has paved the way for Austin FC to have great success on and off the field. To the people of Austin and the surrounding community, welcome to Major League Soccer.”
The club plans to build a privately-funded, $225 million soccer stadium at McKalla Place. The expected completion of the stadium, which will seat 20,000 fans, is prior to the team’s first match in 2021.
“This is a very proud moment for Precourt Sports Ventures, and we share it with the people of Austin, City leadership, the dedicated soccer fans of the region, and everyone who believed in our mission to bring Major League Soccer to this incredible community,” Precourt said. “The greatest way we can show our gratitude is in our actions as leaders of Austin FC.
“Our pledge is to build three essential pillars: a team that will be a perennial contender for MLS Cup, a stadium at McKalla Place that rivals the best sporting venues in North America, and a club that will bring people together and always give back.”
Austin mayor Steve Adler said the city would be positively impacted by the addition of the club.
“This is a historic day for Austin, as MLS becomes the first major league to plant roots in our beautiful city,” Adler said. “We believe professional soccer will bring a great and especially needed benefit to our city.”
Other expansion teams that have yet to start MLS play are Cincinnati (2019), Miami (2020) and Nashville (2020).
Image: MLS commissioner Don Garber (L) announced on Tuesday that Austin FC will join the MLS in 2021