From coverage of this week’s MLS announcement in the Austin Chronicle (¡Dale, Austin FC! MLS Makes It Official), some interesting comments from a council members Garza and Casar:
After the event, Mayor Pro Tem Garza and CM Casar echoed Adler’s declaration that Austin FC could act as a kind of existential unifying force throughout the city. Garza pointed to her childhood in San Antonio, where Spurs fandom stretched across class lines, and Casar recalled PTA meetings where parents urged him to help bring an MLS team to town so their children could feel the impact of living in a city with a professional sports team. But both told the Chronicle they would carefully watch Precourt to ensure he delivered on the community benefits he promised “to the entire city,” as Garza put it.
For Casar, the benefits Precourt is contractually obligated to provide (such as on-site affordable housing) will only be a starting point for what Austin FC, its sponsors, and its supporters can offer the city’s residents. He hoped that some of the club’s deep-pocketed sponsors, who Precourt is currently recruiting, would take steps to fund youth programs or create more affordable ticket options for low-income fans. “The contract we signed is just the floor for what we can do,” Casar told us. “I will be working to see how we can make the deal better … I want to see how high we can raise the ceiling.”