There will be professional soccer in Austin next year, just not a Major League Soccer team. With Formula One out of the way, Circuit of the Americas broke ground Wednesday on a 5,000-seat soccer stadium for the Austin Bold FC.
Roberto Silva, the Bold's general manager, said the team upgraded from its original plans to covered seats, not bleachers. He said it is also looking at ways to integrate the team with other events at COTA.
“I think there are so many cool things we can do together, you know?” he said. "We’re actually looking at this moment at doing a game on the weekend of Indy Racing next year. It is on the books; we’re trying to make that happen.”
The Bold’s stadium is scheduled to be ready by the 2019 season, using a lot of existing infrastructure at COTA.
“We’re trying to create the concept of [a] festival basically on everything that we do,” Silva said. "You come for a concert, it’s not just a concert. You come for the race, it’s not just a race. The same thing with soccer.”
The Bold will play in the United Soccer League, one tier below MLS, and is not connected to the effort to bring the Columbus Crew to Austin.
The MLS announced earlier this month Austin will get a team in two years, but the Crew will stay put in Ohio under new ownership.
Preseason workouts begin in late January. The United Soccer League season usually starts in March.