A yet-to-be-named United Soccer League (USL) franchise that will begin playing in Austin, Texas, in the US from the 2019 season will be based at a new 5,000-seater stadium.
The facility will be based at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA), a motor racing venue that hosts the US round of the Formula One World Championship.
According to myStatesman.com, the new venue will form part of Spanish LaLiga football club Barcelona’s training academy in Austin.
Initial plans suggested that a 1,000-capacity venue was to be constructed at a site between the Austin 360 Amphitheater and the circuit’s grand plaza, but now both the USL team and Barcelona will benefit from a venue that is five times this size.
COTA chairman Bobby Epstein will be the majority owner in the new club in the expanding USL, which is expected to grow to 34 franchise by the time the Austin team enters the league in 2019.
“We’re coming back in a big way,” Epstein told the American-Statesman. “For the first time, we’ll have our own intimate, purpose-built stadium, an international-size field, no football lines, no track.
“We’ll get fans close to the action, have a true home field and allow players to play the game the way it is intended.
“We already have a lot of what we need in place. We have the infrastructure, own the land. We have roads, parking, concessions. We already own a lot of seating that can be moved from our F1 inventory. Obviously, we have a sales and marketing staff, too.”
Jake Edwards, president of the USL, also spoke positively about the new stadium, saying that the venue will help to ensure the longevity of the Austin team.
Edwards said: “We have worked diligently with Bobby over the past 18 months to secure a permanent home for a USL club in Austin and are pleased to have arrived at a solution. This will ensure the long-term success of the franchise.”