What a difference a week makes. On January 19, CultureMap reported that Butler Shores remained the preferred site for a potential Major League Soccer stadium in Austin after two other sites — the Travis County Exposition Center and the former site of a Home Depot — fell out of favor. On January 26, Butler Shores fell off the short list.
The site was a controversial choice from the beginning. Some Austin City Council members and neighborhood groups felt the location was less than ideal due to existing traffic gridlock, a problem the fans of a potential MLS team would only make worse.
Precourt Sports Ventures, which owns the Columbus Crew SC team that might move to Austin, said in a statement that it heard those concerns loud and clear.
“Some in the community and the neighbors near Butler Shores have valid concerns about a possible stadium location at that site,” said PSV president Dave Greely in a release.
“Based on this feedback, we are no longer exploring this location and are continuing our due diligence on other possible locations in the urban core. As we have stated from the onset of this process, finding the right site for a soccer park is of the utmost importance as we contemplate bringing Major League Soccer (MLS) to Austin. We look forward to further community dialogue and collaboration, and we remain committed to finding the best possible stadium site for all involved.”
That leaves only two Austin options in play, as identified by the city. McKalla Place may be the path of least resistance, as it is not on city land, but Roy Guerrero Metropolitan Park is still in the running as well.