Foley & Lardner today announced its partnership with Austin Women’s Soccer League (AWSL), a recreational soccer league open to women of any skill level. Through the partnership, Foley helped AWSL secure dedicated playing fields in the new Soccer Park under development by BuildSoccer, a non-profit foundation, in partnership with The Marbridge Foundation in the South Austin community.
In September 2019, BuildSoccer signed a long-term lease and partnership with The Marbridge Foundation to create a $5 million, six-field lighted soccer park that will serve thousands of children, families and special needs individuals throughout the Austin community. Upon the announcement of this new facility development, AWSL’s President Melinda Thompson recognized the opportunity to provide its community of more than 470 players with dedicated playing fields – a need that the organization had lacked since its founding.
Foley & Lardner provided pro bono counsel to AWSL to help negotiate a facility agreement between AWSL, BuildSoccer and The Marbridge Foundation. The facility agreement allows BuildSoccer to build two state-of-the-art soccer fields within the park with a $200,000 investment by AWSL. In return, AWSL will have use of the fields on Sundays for the next 10 years with the opportunity for an additional 10-year renewal.
Foley Attorneys Kristina Silcocks, Austin, and Robert Bramlette, Houston, advised AWSL in the negotiations and drafting of the facility agreement, ensuring the needs of AWSL were met, including dedicated playing times, field fees, and the ability to hold tournaments. Foley then worked with all three parties to finalize and sign the facility agreement, so that AWSL could begin building the fields.
“It’s important for us to have a dedicated home where our players can come together to not just play soccer, but to continue building a community of female soccer players within the Austin area,” said Melinda Thompson, president, AWSL. “We appreciate Foley’s support and expertise during this process to give our players a place to call our own.”
“The Austin community has always supported the development and growth of soccer, both youth and adult leagues. This partnership advances the availability of a women’s league for the long term,” said Kristina Silcocks, Special Counsel, Foley & Lardner LLP. “Being a member of AWSL myself, I was happy we were in a position to help AWSL further its mission through the creation of these dedicated fields.”
Foley began working with AWSL in early February 2020 and the facility agreement was executed in April. Plans are underway to develop the fields and AWSL hopes to begin playing in its new home starting September 2020.