By JIM VERTUNO, AP Sports Writer
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber formally announced Tuesday that Austin will be an expansion franchise for the 2021 season.
The move has been long expected as Austin became the target destination for efforts last year to move the Columbus Crew. The Crew instead will stay in Ohio under a new ownership group.
Austin recently signed a lease with Austin FC majority owner Anthony Precourt, a California-based investor, to provide land for a privately-funded $225 million stadium. The Austin venue will be an open-air facility with a natural grass playing field on land that has been vacant for 25 years.
Austin FC will become the 27th team in MLS and the first major league professional franchise in the Texas capital city. MLS already has Dallas and the Houston Dynamo in Texas.