The Legend Begins
Austin F.C.’s first home game is scheduled for Saturday, June 19.
Its new stadium is built up in northern Austin by the Domain.
That submarket is booming. How much is attributable to a new soccer stadium is debatable. But the submarket is thriving and shows no signs of stopping.
We are finally here. Its time. Its Austin’s time to Grow the Legend.
I reckon most of you have no idea what I’m talking about. But I could not be more excited about Austin F.C.’s inaugural home game coming up on Saturday, June 19. Its been a long time coming and I have been on the edge of my seat for 18 months.
I’d love to take this space and talk about Josh Wolff’s formations or Cecilio Dominguez goal scoring ability. But, sadly, this is nominally a commercial real estate blog – not a sports blog. So instead I’m going to talk about the area around the new Austin F.C. stadium and how the allure of a new team has helped transform that area.
Austin FC Expansion
Just to give a brief history of the club, Major League Soccer seems to have been interested in putting a team in Austin for a while. It flirted with moving the Columbus Crew to Austin. But when that fell through, Austin was looked at as a potential expansion city. Then, in early 2019, it was officially announced that Austin F.C. would join MLS for the 2021 season.
When the plan for the Crew was being discussed, the Austin City Council debated a few different locations for where to put the stadium. It ultimately decided to put it up north by the Domain – near the corner of N Burnett and Breaker Lane.
A quick disclaimer – in this article, I will talk about how the area around the stadium continues to transform. When the stadium site was first proposed, a study found that it could bring up to $6.56 million in economic benefit to businesses in the area each year. I am always very skeptical of these arguments. So often the numbers do not seem to work out as predicted. I do very much hope that study is correct, but time will tell.
Having said that, the area around the stadium is growing tremendously. Right at the corner of Burnett and Breaker, the Domain II Office tower is being built. When finished, it will be the tallest building in Austin outside of downtown. And the developer ultimately plans to have 3 million square feet of office along with a boutique hotel in that same area.
In addition, a 300 unit apartment community is going up in the same area. The residential market in the area is on fire. I mean – its on fire everywhere in Austin, but in that specific submarket, home prices have risen 28% in the last 12 months. Its an extremely popular place to live.
Finally, the bars and restaurants in the area (and around the city) have had watch parties for the away games that FC has had so far. And its not hard to assume they will be crowded for the home games also.
Correlation does not Equal Causation
So is my beloved Austin F.C a boon to Austin and the Domain area submarket? That’s hard to say.
The entire city of Austin is booming. And the Domain has been thriving for years. Lots of people live, work, and play in the area. Apple, Amazon, and Facebook have all announced they are building offices in the general area. Strong schools and a second downtown make the area attractive to newcomers.
More than likely, the growth in the area is a mix of all of this – schools, entertainment, employers, and Austin F.C. The bottom line, though, is the North Burnett/Domain area of Austin is hot. And there are no signs it will slow any time soon.