Word came out first from Scratching the Pitch, after seeing information from the USL ahead of their annual summer meetings:
Though not explicitly stated, the proposal is a harbinger of another dormant season for the Austin Aztex, which suspended operations in 2016 to get its house in order. Thirty teams is one more than currently compete in the league. The much-hyped inclusion of Reno in the 2017 schedule would achieve the total of 30 teams, and would leave no room for Austin. Perhaps 2018 will bring better news for that market.
That news has been followed up by an article in the Austin American-Statesman: Aztex likely will be sidelined for 2017, too.
As United Soccer League clubs meet this week in San Jose, Calif., it appears that Austin’s USL franchise, which suspended play for 2016, likely won’t return in 2017, either, as its long-term prospects grow dimmer.
“There is no suitable stadium. Until there is, the Aztex won’t field a team,” Bobby Epstein, chairman of Circuit of the Americas and a majority investor in the Aztex, told the American-Statesman on Thursday.
…Van de Zande agreed with Epstein that a return next year seems a bridge too far for the Aztex.
“Nothing is formally confirmed, but taking the suitable soccer venue needs into consideration, 2018 has become a more realistic target,” he said.
Not surprised. Really disappointed, but not surprised. I really like Rene and the front office, but I wish they would be more open with fans as to what is going on. It’s too secretive and with the exception of 3 articles in the Statesman since last October, which told us things we pretty much already knew, I wish they would be more open. The pessimism amongst supporters I talk to is really high, and for many, it borders on anger. I continue to hope that we’ll see professional soccer in Austin, but having lived through 2010 and now 2015, I’ve learned the hard way to be pessimistic. Is it fair to the current owners? No, as it’s not their fault that Aztex 1.0 bailed on us. But then nothing with pro soccer in Austin is fair.
There is no front office.
I was referring to the ownership (Rene, Bobby) and their one staffer, Roberto. You’re right, there is not physical front office. However, there are still folks supposedly working for the Aztex. Not that you would know from any team announcements.
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