Austin already has a pretty cool vibe, and Matthew McConaughey wants the MLS soccer team to promote that vibe across the league and the world.
Austin FC announced an expanded ownership group on Wednesday afternoon, which includes McConaughey, technology entrepreneur Eddie Margain, tech executive Marius Hass and energy entrepreneur Bryan Sheffield.
“This is about legacy for me,” McConaughey said. “I don’t want to spend time or money on things that I don’t look forward to on Monday morning. This is an investment in this city and this game that I’ve come to love.”
Each of the new investors calls Austin home, a fact club CEO Anthony Precourt is particularly
“It’s always about the people for me and the chemistry of the people,” Precourt said. “We’ve always had good people in our organization. Finding the right partners is kind of like finding a bride. It took a long time to get it right, but we’re all super passionate about this can do for Austin.”
Austin FC will have its fair share of rivals, and each of the investors has an idea of who their top rival will be.
Margain, who grew up in Monterrey, Mexico, mentioned a possible meeting with Tigres in the Champions League. Sheffield focused on beating Houston and Dallas. Haas compared Austin to Seattle in terms of technology focuses and looked forward to facing the Sounders.
Precourt mentioned anther MLS newbie in Nashville SC based on the live music cultures in the cities. McConaughey referenced the ongoing rivalry between Texas and USC as well as his friendship with minority owner Will Ferrell when bringing up LAFC.
“Austin is a soccer city,” McConaughey said. “We’re one of the diverse cities in the world. This is a borderless game. This is more than an investment for Austin, it’s an investment in Austin. It’s authentically Austin.”
MLS is a unique league in that it is a single entity league. The investors invest with the league itself and then the operating right is distributed for different markets.
Precourt, who has been an investor-operator in MLS since 2013 when he invested in Columbus Crew SC ad is still the majority owner of Austin FC, will continue to represent the club as Governor on the MLS Board of Governors moving forward.
McConaughey will take on the ‘Minister of Culture’ role with the club, a position he also holds with the University of Texas.
“The real baseline of what I want to do it align values and bridge relationships,” McConaughey said. “There’s a great opportunity in how we work with the University of Texas. And how we go about that with full respect that they have been the only game in town.”
The club made Josh Wolff the first member of the first-team staff when hew as hired on as head coach on July 23. They will begin play as the 27th team in the league in the 2021 season.
Austin FC announced during its ‘State of the Stadium’ address earlier last week that the groundbreaking for the stadium will be on Sept. 5 with MLS Commissioner Don Garber and Austin Mayor Steve Adler set to be in attendance.
“This is real now,” Precourt said. “We’re building the soccer club. We’re building the ownership group and the stadium. We’ll be ready to go for 2021.”