Top 5 temporary stadiums for MLS in Austin

All this talk about a major league soccer stadium at McKalla Place, but move-in wouldn’t actually happen until 2021. That’s two seasons an Austin football club will need temporary digs. PSV has to lock-down a temporary field (and quick!) where they can play in March 2019.

These are the best stadium options for an Austin MLS team.

5. Dell Diamond

Owner: City of Round Rock
Capacity: 11,000+
Playing Surface: natural grass

Before you scoff, soccer has been played on this field before. The Dell Diamond has hosted Liga MX soccer in July for the past three years. A natural grass, professionally-groomed field is a rarity in Austin, but there’s one hump they have to get over: the pitcher’s mound.

Seriously though, with the overlapping schedules between professional soccer and minor league baseball, it seems inconceivable that they could transform this field every weekend for months on end. But, what do I know? New York City FC has been doing it for years at Yankee stadium.

4. Burger Stadium

Owner: Austin ISD
Capacity: 15,000
Playing Surface: artificial turf

Several Austin high schools call this stadium “home” in Austin. It’s one of the largest outdoor stadiums in the city. To boot, the MLS soccer schedule fits pretty nicely between HS soccer and HS football (with some overlap at the beginning and end of the season). The south location may be a chance to draw in south Austinites, before the team moves to its permanent home north of the river.

3. Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex

Owner: Round Rock ISD
Capacity: 11,000
Playing Surface: artificial turf

Maybe on the opposite end of Burger Stadium, there’s Kelly Reeves in north Austin. It may be Austin in address only as this field hosts football and soccer games for Round Rock high schools. The former Austin Aztex played here for a brief time when their home field, House Park, was submerged in the 2015 floods. The team did not return in 2016. This far north location may test the lengths a casual sports fan would go to watch a soccer game in Austin.

2. Mike A. Myers Stadium

Owner: The University of Texas
Capacity: 20,000
Playing Surface: natural grass

Home for Texas Longhorn women’s soccer and track & field. With a central location, plenty of parking, and a natural grass surface this may be one of the most suitable locations for an MLS team. It boasts a 20,000-seat capacity, matching the proposed size of McKalla Place.

That track around the pitch though. Makes it hard for fans to get into the action. They do wheel in some field level bleachers for the UT soccer games, but it doesn’t fill the void.

1. Darrell K Royal–Texas Memorial Stadium

Owner: The University of Texas
Capacity: 100,000+
Playing Surface: artificial turf

Go big PSV! Now this would get the attention of Austinites far and wide. You may even pull in die-hard UT football fans just longing to be back in DKR. It has all the positives of Mike Myers next door, but with one major advantage…BEER!

I do have concerns. That’s a massive number of seats. A poor turnout and it would look awfully empty on TV. Also, UT isn’t exactly hurting for $$$, so they may just assume it sits empty for 9 months out of the year.

A temporary college football stadium worked nicely though for the last MLS team to move to Texas—the Houston Dynamo (née San Jose Earthquakes) played at U of H’s Roberston Stadium before BBVA Stadium was erected.

 

2 comments

  1. UT has already said they have no interest in having MLS soccer in Mike Myers and suggesting putting it into a 100,000 seat football stadium is just stupid.

    The Kelly Reeves experiment failed badly with the Aztex and won’t work any better for a new team.

    Can’t see the Dell Diamond people being happy at all with a bi-weekly (or more) reworking of the stadium for soccer, plus it’s tiny and far from an ideal layout for the fans.

    Of all these Burger is the only realistic option, if you don’t mind an ancient facility with bad turf and ugly football stripes that scream “third class!” Isn’t that why they want to leave Columbus?

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  2. The Seattle Sounders’ USL team plays in a minor league baseball team’s stadium (Tacoma Rainiers), and they seem to make it work – and that’s for a USL team. Bet if PSV throws enough money at them, Round Rock Express would gladly welcome them. Not my pick, but it has worked elsewhere.

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