After a couple weeks of not so exciting news, we're back with a feisty edition of The Stadium Rundown! This week we look at the never-ending controversy behind a couple of proposed soccer stadiums in Austin and Cincinnati and check on a nearly finished stadium in Los Angeles!
We are very well familiar by now with the #SaveTheCrew movement and the controversial attempted move to Austin, TX. As this gets more serious for the city of Austin it looks like fewer people are actually supporting this. There's a handful of fans and the Austin Chamber of Commerce.
This week, the move to Austin took another punch to the gut, this time by the Austin Parks and Recreation Board. Roy G. Guerrero Metropolitan Park was on the shrinking list of areas where the city was considering providing land for a new stadium, but now the Parks and Recreation Board wants that removed from the list, citing neighborhood activist groups protesting the proposed stadium.
Precourt Sports Ventures (PSV) considered Guerrero Park to be their second choice behind Butler Shores Metropolitan Park, but that was removed following protests from local residents and tepid support at best from the city council. At this point, PSV's best option might be a former toxic waste dump. Yuck.
What seemed like a lock two months ago is now not so much of a lock. FC Cincinnati appeared to have the expansion slot in the bag with Major League Soccer back in November, but due to stadium and financing concerns, Major League Soccer has delayed the announcement of the second club (which should have occurred back in December of 2017).
This time, the issue is with the proposed stadium location. The local chapter of the NAACP voted against supporting the stadium being built on the west end and provided the following quote to the Cincinnati Enquirer:
"We believe a soccer stadium in the West End would expedite the further gentrification of another black neighborhood. We want to make it clear we are not against progress, nor are we against soccer."
"We understand there are others in this process yet to take a position, but as for our organization, when our current leadership was assembled and upon taking our oath of office, we stated that one of the priorities of our branch would be to fight against the further gentrification of the black neighborhoods as best we could."
This discussion is far from over...
Unlike the previous two stories on our rundown this week, Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles is about ready to go for the start of their inaugural season! This week, they put down the grass and have announced the club will be ready to train on the grounds in early to mid-April just in time for opening day on April 29th.
That's all for this week. We'll see you again on the Rundown next time!