Austin FC Information
Austin FC is an American professional soccer club based in Austin, Texas. The club will compete in Major League Soccer (MLS) as a member of the Western Conference. Founded in 2018, the club will begin play from the 2021 season. Their home stadium will be the Q2 Stadium in north-central Austin.
Austin FC will be the first top-division major professional sports team in the Austin area. The city's previous experience with professional soccer includes the Austin Aztex FC, which moved to Orlando in 2008 and eventually became MLS side Orlando City SC, the 2011 reincarnation of the Austin Aztex, which went on indefinite hiatus following the 2015 Memorial Day floods washing out their venue at House Park, and Austin Bold FC, which play in the second division USL Championship at Circuit of the Americas.
In October 2017, Columbus Crew SC operator Precourt Sports Ventures announced their intention to move the group's MLS franchise rights to Austin for the 2019 MLS season.
On August 22, 2018, the group unveiled the name and badge for the club at the North Door's event on Austin's east side. The crest was designed by local Austin brand studio The Butler Bros. They explained the badge as including the signature color "Bright Verde" to "project the vibrancy and creative energy of Austin," intertwined oaks that "stand for the bond between Club and City," and the four roots uniting all compass directions of Austin, North, East, South, and West.
In October 2018, an Ohio-based group which includes Jimmy and Dee Haslam, owners of the National Football League's Cleveland Browns, and Columbus-based physician and businessman Pete Edwards, announced their intentions to acquire Columbus Crew to keep the team from moving. MLS officials stated that if the transfer of the Crew's operating rights were successful, Austin FC would be established as an expansion team operated by Precourt to begin to play by 2021.
On December 19, 2018, Precourt Sports Ventures and the City of Austin reached a financing agreement for a new soccer-specific stadium to be constructed at McKalla Place, projected to open by early 2021. Nine days after finalizing the stadium deal, Precourt Sports Ventures reached an agreement in principle to transfer the operating rights of the Columbus Crew SC to the Haslam and Edwards families in January 2019.
On January 15, 2019, Austin FC was officially announced as an MLS club with a 2021 start date. In July 2019, the ownership group was renamed Two Oak Ventures and later expanded to include local celebrities and business people.
Josh Wolff was named the club's first head coach on July 23, 2019, and Claudio Reyna was announced as their sporting director on November 21.
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