IndyAustin is calling for a Public Vote on the Soccer Stadium. Some things are complicated, this isn’t.
When you finish reading this, please reply to let us know you want to help. We’ll be calling a meeting VERY soon.
If you were around in 1995, you might remember the “emergency baseball stadium.” Back then, the city couldn’t run up new debt without a public vote. That is, unless it was an “emergency.” Then Mayor Bruce Todd invoked the emergency clause in the city charter. We had great fun dubbing it the “Emergency Baseball Stadium.” Fifteen thousand signatures later, the city caved, put it on the ballot and it went down 2 to 1 at the polls.
If the city hadn’t been in such a hurry, it might have been able to bring the Phoenix Firebirds to Austin. In this current stadium “deal,” maybe there are real reasons for this hide-and-sneak game to rush things by the public that we cannot learn about until the deal is inked.
That is the main reason we are calling for a public vote on the Soccer Stadium.
Just a Few More Good Reasons to Call for a Public Vote on the Soccer Stadium:
- Precourt Sports Ventures is being sued by the State of Ohio for attempting to leave Cincinatti (Correction: Columbus!] According to Bill Aleshire (see our post of July 12 – Sucker Not Soccer), it’s not at all clear the city can deal with Precourt until the suit is resolved. Will someone please explain why we want our City to jump into bed with people who could be illegally pulling out of another deal?
- The Stadium is planned for the McKalla Place property, one of the city’s prime locations designated BY the city for affordable housing.
- The city is rushing this plan for August 9 and answered NO questions at the “input session” last week!
Read this quick report of last week’s City sponsored “input session.” See if you agree that this deal has a stench that won’t go away until we win the right to a public vote.
The McKalla Place Input Session
The City of Austin allowed Precourt Sports Ventures to put huckster-lobbyist, Richard Suttle, front and center of the “McKalla Place Input Session.” After Suttle verbally chastised anyone in the audience opposed to the deal, he told us what a unifier soccer is with a video invoking Nelson Mandela. We are not kidding!
The good news is that there were some very smart and diverse folks who raised serious questions about the deal. The bad news is that they received literally NO answers.
Our take was that the design of this “input session” was just a good old-fashioned bait and switch game to get the audience to buy-in to the “community benefits” like free tickets to games, etc. We also thought the audience members weren’t buying it.
Soccer is a fine sport and can be a unifier when its purpose is honest and clear. However, this Precourt-Suttle-Mark Littlefield lobbyist-huckster deal isn’t about soccer. Our read is that it is more likely a straight up rip-off of Austin to the tune of tens of millions of public dollars. Because it’s being rushed so fast, we may not know just how bad it is before Council passes it as early as August 9th. This is why calling for a public vote on the soccer stadium is so very important.
The City of Miami Just Gave Their Voters the Right to Vote on Soccer Subsidies
The city of Miami apparently has a little more sensitivity to their citizens. They recently voted to put their public subsidy of a soccer stadium up for a vote in November. Read it here in the Miami Herald.
You Have Oodles of Options In Addition to Calling for a Public Vote on Soccer
More good news is that Austin voters have options. Here are just some of them:
- The right to petition for a public vote on this “deal”, and
- Voting out any incumbent up for reelection who supports this.
- Running for any council seat up yourself, and
- The right to petition for recall.
Hang on to your hats folks and get ready to move quickly on this one. We’ll be sending you more information very shortly.