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MLB Expansion: Austin on the radar?


wood
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Couldn't find any thread about this, so siap. This guy seems to think Austin has a pretty solid shot because of the growth rate among other things. 

Some comments saying UT will never let it happen & that's why the Express are in RR, but that seems like bullshit. Texas Baseball will always draw enough. College & pro sports don't really compete that much anyway, & college baseball is more of a spring sport vs a summer sport in MLB. What I heard repeatedly back when the Express came here was that they went to RR because the City of Austin was so hard to work with.

 

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FWIW, someone told me about 10 years ago that he and some colleagues felt, that if they could get some local help, they could make an MLB franchise work in Austin-San Antonio.  With the stadium somewhere in between.  This was also during yet another rumored phase of expansion for MLB.  This man has strong ties to Texas (particularly the City of Houston and the University of Texas System).  I spoke with him 2+ years ago and he had changed his tune.  They felt that a city-centric stadium would make the most sense (somewhere near Central Austin, but not the Domain) and that relocating a struggling franchise (TBR, PIT, MIA, KCR, MIL, CIN) was the preferred route rather than wait 10-15 years for another expansion phase.  He hasn't said a word about it again...but he should know...he owns a large chunk of the Washington Nationals.  

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47 minutes ago, TonyTexas said:

I would think that the Astros and the Rangers would have much more influence in preventing a MLB. franchise in Austin than UT. 

Yeah, I wouldn't sweat UT...not sure how that rumor got started.  The overlap with MLB is maybe 6 weeks (All of April and half of May), which in terms of MLB schedules is 20 or fewer home games that could coincide with 20 or so UT home games.  I guess Regionals/Supers would present an interesting conundrum but I won't hold my breath on that. 

I was under the impression that a huge reason Round Rock Express took to the north suburbs was it would be more family-friendly.  I know the City of Austin can be tough to work with better than most, but 25 years ago when this was settled...downtown Austin...even Central Austin were nothing like they are now.  And the idea of putting the stadium somewhere near the modern day domain or Mueller would have been a fool's errand.  

From a media market standpoint, HOU & TEX wouldn't lose sleep over the raw MSA numbers of an Austin-market team.  But the smaller broadcast games on the lesser cable channels and streaming, that could hurt those two franchises.  And we're diehard baseball fans on here, we don't mind traveling a few times a year to see great MLB games around Texas...but we're not the norm.  HOU & TEX wouldn't give a shit about the a few hundred fans who won't make a couple games per year to Houston or Arlington because they've got the Austin Whatevers to see live in their own town.  That's not gonna hurt anybody.  The next expansion or relocation is going to be based very heavily on the way we now intake our MLB games which is computer streaming, mobile, and smaller network broadcasts/bespoke channels.  I'm still trying to figure out what the fuck Marquee Sports Network is instead of WGN, so I can watch Cubs games at home in Austin.  But for corporate sponsorships and asses in seats, Austin can deliver and that's what ownership will care about.  Over half the people in this city have absolutely no brand loyalty to the Astros or Rangers, they'd just go if there was an Austin franchise because it's here and the cool thing to do.

It's still a longshot, I only brought up the anecdote because it was told to me somebody already in MLB ownership.  

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This isn't baseball specific, but one compelling factor in Austin's favor is the fact that no other city in America has close to the population of Austin without a major sports franchise. With the Austin area continuing to grow rapidly, that's not changing anytime soon. The MLS team will be a huge success imo and could be a big game-changer for Austin's representation at the pro sports level. Otoh, I don't think Austin residents are keen on using tax dollars to fund a big stadium to attract another pro team. NHL hockey perhaps?

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5 minutes ago, Lobo said:

Yeah, I wouldn't sweat UT...not sure how that rumor got started.  The overlap with MLB is maybe 6 weeks (All of April and half of May), which in terms of MLB schedules is 20 or fewer home games that could coincide with 20 or so UT home games.  I guess Regionals/Supers would present an interesting conundrum but I won't hold my breath on that. 

I was under the impression that a huge reason Round Rock Express took to the north suburbs was it would be more family-friendly.  I know the City of Austin can be tough to work with better than most, but 25 years ago when this was settled...downtown Austin...even Central Austin were nothing like they are now.  And the idea of putting the stadium somewhere near the modern day domain or Mueller would have been a fool's errand.  

From a media market standpoint, HOU & TEX wouldn't lose sleep over the raw MSA numbers of an Austin-market team.  But the smaller broadcast games on the lesser cable channels and streaming, that could hurt those two franchises.  And we're diehard baseball fans on here, we don't mind traveling a few times a year to see great MLB games around Texas...but we're not the norm.  HOU & TEX wouldn't give a shit about the a few hundred fans who won't make a couple games per year to Houston or Arlington because they've got the Austin Whatevers to see live in their own town.  That's not gonna hurt anybody.  The next expansion or relocation is going to be based very heavily on the way we now intake our MLB games which is computer streaming, mobile, and smaller network broadcasts/bespoke channels.  I'm still trying to figure out what the fuck Marquee Sports Network is instead of WGN, so I can watch Cubs games at home in Austin.  But for corporate sponsorships and asses in seats, Austin can deliver and that's what ownership will care about.  Over half the people in this city have absolutely no brand loyalty to the Astros or Rangers, they'd just go if there was an Austin franchise because it's here and the cool thing to do.

It's still a longshot, I only brought up the anecdote because it was told to me somebody already in MLB ownership.  

I've heard the "UT won't allow pro sports in Austin" rumor for decades in various forms, but I've always considered it complete bullshit and thought less of anyone repeating it. You know, morons. 

When the Express went to RR, what I heard a few times from different people was that they had originally wanted to be downtown, somewhere near where the old minor league stadium was, near the coliseum, but the city was a pita at every turn. So they just said 'fuck it' and moved to RR, who was more than welcoming. I also heard they liked the family-friendly aspect up there as well.

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I believe the UT stuff when it comes to football, but we're just not setup as an NFL franchise town and the Cowboys would smother it in the crib.  Or smother it in hot gravy and eat it behind the shed, either way.  NBA is a non-starter with the small-market Spurs franchise being the literal gold standard of franchises.  NHL isn't worth discussing.  But MLB could work in Central/South Texas.  San Antonio was looked at in depth decades ago, but Austin has just changed in favor of MLB demographics. 

The people moving here, that would attend and sponsor games...they don't care about the Astros, Rangers, or even really baseball.  Like Arlington though, they'd have to contend with the heat which would make a stadium expensive.  They could have shared with ATX FC, but that ship sailed.  I think by 2030, a team will be moving here but who knows?  Fucking Missouri has as many teams as Texas does.  It's the wave of the future.  Only question is how San Antonio gets involved.  The Express won't have any say in this...if this were to happen and that's a big IF...by the time it gets done, it's a 90-minute commute from downtown Austin to Dell Diamond...nobody will give a shit by that point. 

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It still fucking pisses me off that Crane took the Astros AAA affiliate away from me. I'm working class poors and couldn't afford a bigger house in Austin so wife and I decided to move to the burbs last year and a big selling point for me for the house we bought was its proximity to Dell Diamond. Covid and Jim Crane ruined that symmetry for me. Oh well, at least the Skeeters will be playing a bunch of games here.

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13 minutes ago, Lobo said:

I believe the UT stuff when it comes to football, but we're just not setup as an NFL franchise town and the Cowboys would smother it in the crib.  Or smother it in hot gravy and eat it behind the shed, either way.  NBA is a non-starter with the small-market Spurs franchise being the literal gold standard of franchises.  NHL isn't worth discussing.  But MLB could work in Central/South Texas.  San Antonio was looked at in depth decades ago, but Austin has just changed in favor of MLB demographics. 

The people moving here, that would attend and sponsor games...they don't care about the Astros, Rangers, or even really baseball.  Like Arlington though, they'd have to contend with the heat which would make a stadium expensive.  They could have shared with ATX FC, but that ship sailed.  I think by 2030, a team will be moving here but who knows?  Fucking Missouri has as many teams as Texas does.  It's the wave of the future.  Only question is how San Antonio gets involved.  The Express won't have any say in this...if this were to happen and that's a big IF...by the time it gets done, it's a 90-minute commute from downtown Austin to Dell Diamond...nobody will give a shit by that point. 

Austin FC wasn't going to share a stadium with an MLB team. The only reason NYCFC does is because NYC and they are still looking to leave.

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30 minutes ago, Lobo said:

I believe the UT stuff when it comes to football, but we're just not setup as an NFL franchise town and the Cowboys would smother it in the crib.  Or smother it in hot gravy and eat it behind the shed, either way.  NBA is a non-starter with the small-market Spurs franchise being the literal gold standard of franchises.  NHL isn't worth discussing.  But MLB could work in Central/South Texas.  San Antonio was looked at in depth decades ago, but Austin has just changed in favor of MLB demographics. 

The people moving here, that would attend and sponsor games...they don't care about the Astros, Rangers, or even really baseball.  Like Arlington though, they'd have to contend with the heat which would make a stadium expensive.  They could have shared with ATX FC, but that ship sailed.  I think by 2030, a team will be moving here but who knows?  Fucking Missouri has as many teams as Texas does.  It's the wave of the future.  Only question is how San Antonio gets involved.  The Express won't have any say in this...if this were to happen and that's a big IF...by the time it gets done, it's a 90-minute commute from downtown Austin to Dell Diamond...nobody will give a shit by that point. 

Agree with most of this post, but 90 minutes to Dell from downtown? I get there from my house in SW Austin in 45 minutes or so.

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I realize that, was just throwing out hypotheticals about a stadium.  Any MLB stadium in Austin, would the hottest open-air stadium in the nation.  I can't see anything anywhere near Town Lake, except Far East Austin, working simply because of the egress of traffic.  I remember people thinking an MLS stadium at the Austin-American Statesman site years ago could work.  And I picture fucking 2-lane South Congress Avenue and Riverside Drive handling thousands of cars at 6:00p on a Wednesday/Thursday rush hour evening before a match, and just laughing.  

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3 minutes ago, wood said:

Agree with most of this post, but 90 minutes to Dell from downtown? I get there from my house in SW Austin in 45 minutes or so.

I said by the time it gets done, if it gets done.  Which would be 2030 or later.  And at this traffic/growth rate, that's gonna be 75 minutes by 2030.

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1 minute ago, Lobo said:

I realize that, was just throwing out hypotheticals about a stadium.  Any MLB stadium in Austin, would the hottest open-air stadium in the nation.  I can't see anything anywhere near Town Lake, except Far East Austin, working simply because of the egress of traffic.  I remember people thinking an MLS stadium at the Austin-American Statesman site years ago could work.  And I picture fucking 2-lane South Congress Avenue and Riverside Drive handling thousands of cars at 6:00p on a Wednesday/Thursday rush hour evening before a match, and just laughing.  

What was even funnier was the proposed site just west of Lamar, off Toomey, where the little league fields are. 

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2 hours ago, Gourmand said:

I have a better chance of growing a full head of hair and having a threesome with Jennifer Lawrence and Salma Hayek. 

No kidding.  We have a fucking thread like this every fucking year.  

MLB has about 20 other locations they'd consider before Austin.  The problem is that no one is going to build a stadium in downtown Austin.  This somewhere-between-Austin-and-SA bullshit ignores the 81 games/year reality.  MLB wants its stadiums downtown.  They're not going to experiment with a stadium in Hays/Comal.

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1 hour ago, SimonBolivar said:

Austin FC wasn't going to share a stadium with an MLB team. The only reason NYCFC does is because NYC and they are still looking to leave.

Yeah, that part really made me roll my eyes.  How much is Austin FC going to chip in on construction cost on a $1B stadium?  Lulz.

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1 - The Express are in RR precisely because Austin was a pain to work with.  They tried to get a site on Town Lake and they tried to get a site near East Riverside/Pleasant Valley.  Austin completely Austined the whole thing and Round Rock raised its hand and said "Hell yes!"

2 - There is nowhere anywhere close to downtown that is a suitable site for a MLB stadium.  If that is truly a requirement, it will not happen.  Ever.

3 - The only way Austin gets a franchise is with a suburban stadium. Probably outside the CoA. Maybe outside Travis County, making Williamson and Hays the most likely suspects.  Or somewhere near COTA might make sense.

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Lions Muni seems like a big enough footprint, and expanding that short stretch of Lake Austin would be doable. Don’t know how they’d get Tarrytown and West Lake on board with that unless they barricade Red Bud and Exposition from non-residents during every game to force all traffic down Lake Austin to Mopac.

Austin Bats seems like the obvious name

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2 hours ago, Lobo said:

They could have shared with ATX FC,

That sounds terrible. It would either be a shitty soccer stadium or a shitty baseball park.

And an MLB franchise would never do that. NYCFC plays at Yankee Stadium but that's not really optimal and they are looking to build their own stadium.

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21 minutes ago, SquishMitten said:

Lions Muni seems like a big enough footprint, and expanding that short stretch of Lake Austin would be doable. Don’t know how they’d get Tarrytown and West Lake on board with that unless they barricade Red Bud and Exposition from non-residents during every game to force all traffic down Lake Austin to Mopac.

Austin Bats seems like the obvious name

Tarrytown home owners would burn down City Hall.

Hmmm.....

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2 hours ago, Beau Vine said:

No kidding.  We have a fucking thread like this every fucking year.  

MLB has about 20 other locations they'd consider before Austin.  The problem is that no one is going to build a stadium in downtown Austin.  This somewhere-between-Austin-and-SA bullshit ignores the 81 games/year reality.  MLB wants its stadiums downtown.  They're not going to experiment with a stadium in Hays/Comal.

There are suitable sites close enough to downtown for an urban redevelopment district that would work.  Perhaps the best would be somewhere between S. Congress and I-35 on either side of 290.  I bet the city would love to transform part of that light industrial area into more high density apartments above retail, pulling that type of development further east than the block or two currently starting to sprout up along the future light-rail line.  Probably in the long term city planning but a stadium/entertainment district would accelerate the timeline.  Wouldn't displace residents and fairly close to (for now) working class areas that would work at the stadium, bars, shops, hotels, etc.

So a brand new hip urban neighborhood, with transit, close to the city center.  Similar in concept to the Nats' stadium and redevelopment.  3 miles from downtown, vs. 4.5 for Wrigley, 2 for Fenway,  Philly is 3 miles, and perhaps the best comparison, Atlanta, is almost 10 miles from the traditional city core.  The type of setting is probably more important to MLB than exact proximity to downtown.  Just insist on parking garages instead of a sea of lots.

There's still parts of the Domain area with potential, and like in Atlanta that might be the preferred site when considering season ticket sales.  But a south side location is probably the best option, lower land costs and better to draw from the San Antonio metro, which would double the team's market size.  The Austin CSA, at less than 2.5 million, is on the fringe of being too small.  But San Antonio doubles that, and Killeen-Temple adds another half million.  That puts almost 6 million within a 1.5 hour drive of the stadium, close enough to draw for weeknight games. 

Only Charlotte has comparable potential as a new US market.  Oft cited greater Portland is less than 4 million, because it has a relatively sparse hinterland.  Salt Lake is similar, Nashville has more surrounding population but totals even less within 1.5 hours, and Vegas is well under 3 million.  In fact I'd say only Charlotte and Austin-San Antonio have the pop base to be successful expansion teams.  I'm interested in if MLB would be able to get both San Antonio and Austin designated as home markets for a team for TV purposes, which would further boost revenue potential.

 

Edited by clapclapclap
CSA = Combined Statistical Area
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1 hour ago, SquishMitten said:

Lions Muni seems like a big enough footprint, and expanding that short stretch of Lake Austin would be doable. Don’t know how they’d get Tarrytown and West Lake on board with that unless they barricade Red Bud and Exposition from non-residents during every game to force all traffic down Lake Austin to Mopac.

Austin Bats seems like the obvious name

Getting the West Austin nimbys on board is secondary to what The University wants as landowner.

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4 hours ago, Gourmand said:

This isn't baseball specific, but one compelling factor in Austin's favor is the fact that no other city in America has close to the population of Austin without a major sports franchise. With the Austin area continuing to grow rapidly, that's not changing anytime soon. The MLS team will be a huge success imo and could be a big game-changer for Austin's representation at the pro sports level. Otoh, I don't think Austin residents are keen on using tax dollars to fund a big stadium to attract another pro team. NHL hockey perhaps?

They can fund it with bond sales and a tax on local hotels, then they can lease it to the team to pay the interest on the bonds with money left over.  Stadium funding should really never be an issue.  If Milwaukee and Minneapolis can build beautiful stadiums, Austin certainly can.

I think pushback from the Astros and Rangers would be the bigger stumbling block.  And, as others have noted, location.  MLB wants downtown stadiums (and so do cities that aren't stupid), and where exactly are we going to put this behemoth?

We're getting MLS and we might be able to get NHL.  But that's probably it for a very long time.

Edited by TexArcher
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16 minutes ago, Beau Vine said:

Do we have to clear out the hipsters first?  

Well, it would be ironic if a bunch of hipsters became part of the foundation for a very mainstream professional sports stadium, so they should support their own demise.  And so do I.

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27 minutes ago, Beau Vine said:

Do we have to clear out the hipsters first?  

I'm not anti hipster. I think the hipsters have moved to east of 35 and south Lamar. The douchey transplant yuppies have overrun Rainey. It needs to he cleansed with fire so we can begin anew.

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2 hours ago, clapclapclap said:

There are suitable sites close enough to downtown for an urban redevelopment district that would work.  Perhaps the best would be somewhere between S. Congress and I-35 on either side of 290.  I bet the city would love to transform part of that light industrial area into more high density apartments above retail, pulling that type of development further east than the block or two currently starting to sprout up along the future light-rail line.  Probably in the long term city planning but a stadium/entertainment district would accelerate the timeline.  Wouldn't displace residents and fairly close to (for now) working class areas that would work at the stadium, bars, shops, hotels, etc.

So a brand new hip urban neighborhood, with transit, close to the city center.  Similar in concept to the Nats' stadium and redevelopment.  3 miles from downtown, vs. 4.5 for Wrigley, 2 for Fenway,  Philly is 3 miles, and perhaps the best comparison, Atlanta, is almost 10 miles from the traditional city core.  The type of setting is probably more important to MLB than exact proximity to downtown.  Just insist on parking garages instead of a sea of lots.

There's still parts of the Domain area with potential, and like in Atlanta that might be the preferred site when considering season ticket sales.  But a south side location is probably the best option, lower land costs and better to draw from the San Antonio metro, which would double the team's market size.  The Austin CSA, at less than 2.5 million, is on the fringe of being too small.  But San Antonio doubles that, and Killeen-Temple adds another half million.  That puts almost 6 million within a 1.5 hour drive of the stadium, close enough to draw for weeknight games.

I heard someone is starting a new Domain-type development at Brodie Oaks shopping center (S. Lamar and Ben White) in a year or so. Burger Stadium isn't too far down the road from that,  & just a little farther than the St. Elmo/S. Industrial area I think you're referring to here. I do like the idea of renovating the S. Industrial area with a ballpark though. 

Edited by wood
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Ya know, if it must be a downtown stadium on the river, why not on the YMCA & Pets Alive site west of Lamar?  The animal rescue can move 5 miles to bottom lands east of 183 and south of the river, or next to Austin Animal Center along Gardner/183.  The stadium needs a minimum of about 700 x 700 feet, so that's the Y plot (I wouldn't count on being able to get air rights over the RR tracks, other than for a pedestrian bridge and perhaps for a portion of a retractable roof).  The baseball fields can be moved to the Pets Alive plot, and put those and the soccer fields on top of a parking garage and a replacement YMCA that would front Cesar Chavez.  That gives you easy freeway access with reduced impacts on surrounding streets.  Accessing the AASpaceman site would probably have a much higher negative impact on traffic and neighborhoods.

I'd guess the city has long-term redevelopment plans for that industrial eyesore on the north side of the RR tracks.  A stadium might be the catalyst to eminent domain it for a team related hotel/retail development.  Perhaps also improvements for the Amtrak station, and eventually a trolley route from the downtown light-rail lines out to whatever high-density development eventually replaces Lions muni.

Edited by clapclapclap
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3 hours ago, TrashMaster G said:

1 - The Express are in RR precisely because Austin was a pain to work with.  They tried to get a site on Town Lake and they tried to get a site near East Riverside/Pleasant Valley.  Austin completely Austined the whole thing and Round Rock raised its hand and said "Hell yes!"

2 - There is nowhere anywhere close to downtown that is a suitable site for a MLB stadium.  If that is truly a requirement, it will not happen.  Ever.

3 - The only way Austin gets a franchise is with a suburban stadium. Probably outside the CoA. Maybe outside Travis County, making Williamson and Hays the most likely suspects.  Or somewhere near COTA might make sense.

#1 is exactly what I heard. Re: #3, COTA is too far IMHO, and the soil is incredibly shitty. The track is falling apart and they've also had problems with other structures.

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9 minutes ago, wood said:

I heard someone is starting a new Domain-type development at Brodie Oaks shopping center (S. Lamar and Ben White) in a year or so. Burger Stadium isn't too far down the road from that,  & just a little farther than the St. Elmo/S. Industrial area I think you're referring to here. I do like the idea of renovating the S. Industrial area with a ballpark though. 

Giancarlo Esposito's (Gus Fring) cousin is re-developing it.  An MLB stadium is an interesting alternative.  

Edited by Lobo
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While the city is run by mostly airheads, I'm not sure siting an MLB stadium would play out the same as a minor league ballpark.  The pro stadium has a potentially much higher economic multiplier, not to mention the incomparable visibility and cache of having a MLB team on TV, frequently nationally.

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1 minute ago, Lobo said:

Giancarlo Esposito's (Gus Fring) cousin is re-developing it.  An MLB stadium is an interesting alternative.  

True. I was thinking of the Burger site down the road though, as it would be close to the new development at Brodie Oaks, is relatively flat, has good access, etc. Either way is good though.

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I guess the new franchise could agree to build a new, smallish hoops arena on the property at Burger.  Not sure about the football stadium, but the diamond footprint would work there.  It's not the worst egress site of those discussed.  I like the idea of putting it up at that Brodie Oaks perch with still some mixed use (though not nearly as much).  A lease-back arrangement with the owners/city could still make the project work.  What a great view out to Barton Creek and the skyline.  We'd have to totally rethink Lamar, for the 19th time since it was built.  I'm gonna see what Fring's cousin thinks.

Edited by Lobo
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How about that undeveloped area behind Krieg Fields, to the east, between it and the Guerrero Park ballfields? And there are probably other plots near there along E. Cesar Chavez that would work. There's also a lot of open land SE of 183 and the river. That's about 3.5 miles from downtown.

There are options if the stadium needs to be close to downtown.

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17 minutes ago, faps said:

If Barton Creek mall ever dies, put it there.

It will. Just a matter of time. My son and I were talking about this the other day. I'm guessing the 'new Domain' just down Ben White will be the beginning of its end.

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5 minutes ago, wood said:

It will. Just a matter of time. My son and I were talking about this the other day. I'm guessing the new Domain just down Ben White will be the beginning of its end.

where/what is the new Domain down on Ben White?  

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4 minutes ago, Lobo said:

where/what is the new Domain down on Ben White?  

 

2 minutes ago, faps said:

Brodie Oaks I assume.

Yeah it's the Brodie Oaks thing I mentioned earlier. The current tenants describe it as being 'like the Domain'. Nobody's leases are being renewed & they have to vacate in a year or so. Isn't that the area Gus Fring's cousin is developing, or were you referring to somewhere else?

Edited by wood
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That's not Ben White.  That's Lamar & 360. And it won't really compete directly, retail-wise with Barton Creek.  It's going to be primarily residential and hospitality, with some office, and light street-level retail peppered around.  Like most of the shops on Lamar/South Austin, shit that's fun to look at but nothing terribly practical.  Barton Creek Square is going down because the anchors are going 1 by 1, and their footprint is way too big and a waste of a view.  They can't make their NNN anymore.  It was gonna happen before 2030 anyway, Covid-19 just put it on Warp Speed.  

I thought there was something new in the works at IH-35 and Ben White or something.  Shit, there's a new "domain" announced in Austin every fiscal quarter.  
 

Back to baseball...I think something in near South or near East Austin is the only way forward.  Is there any space big enough over off Riverside by Oracle and all that other multi-family going in?  I haven't been over there since pandemic started but I'm assuming a lot of product came online in the last 15 months? 

Edited by Lobo
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12 minutes ago, wood said:

It will. Just a matter of time. My son and I were talking about this the other day. I'm guessing the 'new Domain' just down Ben White will be the beginning of its end.

Yeah, I should've said "when" not "if".

I have only Sim City levels of city planning training, but that would be a sweet spot for a stadium. The downtown view from up there would be a nice spot for a huge outfield window, assuming it's a dome. 

Hell they could even put some cliche "Austin" shit in the outfield like the Marlins stadium has.

MarlinsFirstPitchBehindHomePlate.jpg

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True.  But the marketers of this project are avoiding the proximity to Ben White, as well as the name.  It's Lamar & 360 in all the materials for a reason.  Ben White is associated with one thing in Austin now...homeless camps.  For better or worse.  Then again, Gus Fring did have a good working relationship with a man named Mr. White way back when.  Maybe the new Brodie Oaks will have a Pollos Hermanos?  

Back to baseball.  None of this matters without a failing franchise.  There's plenty on the ropes, but they've been on the ropes for 20 years and survived.  It's really up to the whims of ownership.  Perfectly healthy franchises have been uprooted and moved across the country.  Others hemmorhage cash for decades and somehow win pennants.  

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