Author Harley Tamplin
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin
AUSTIN (KXAN) — It sits silent in April – but come June 19, Q2 Stadium is expected to be rocking to the rhythm of Austin FC’s fans.
The brand new 20,500-seat stadium has been designed with the matchday atmosphere in mind.
There’s the 3,500-seat supporters’ section – the main stand emblazoned with ATX – where the fans’ music group La Murga will be heard throughout the 90 minutes.
The seats were designed to be close to the pitch, Austin FC president Andy Loughnane said, while the stands are steep, feeling almost on top of the players.
The idea? To make Q2 Stadium a fortress for Major League Soccer’s newest club.
“We want to create what we would classify as an intimidating matchday atmosphere,” Loughnane said.
“There’s some things that have been done to allow for amplified sound, certainly getting people close proximity to the field and I think ultimately those are things that can be turned into homefield advantage,” he added.
Loughnane said it was important for the club that the fans feel “close to the action,” and he thinks people who watch their first ever soccer match at Q2 Stadium this year are in for a surprise.
“Anybody who hasn’t had a chance to experience soccer before is going to be remarkably surprised with the passion, the energy, the pulse of our supporter group and what they deliver in the way of a fan experience that just isn’t available anywhere else in Austin,” he said.
“When you’re here for a match, you’re going to hear La Murga which is the band that will be present for the entirety of the 90-minute match.
“There will probably be some percussion, there will probably be some horns. There probably will be a bit of bongo.” That has to make the Minister of Culture Matthew McConaughey excited.
Of course, that’s only going to happen once it is safe to allow a large crowd into the stadium, amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Loughnane repeated his desire to have a “large crowd” at Q2 Stadium from the first match, but acknowledged that it’s still too early to make a call.
He said the club will continue to monitor factors such as the hospitalization rate and vaccination rate before finally making a call in May about the curtain-raiser against the San Jose Earthquakes on June 19.
“The trajectory inside our city is strong, but let’s see what we’re like in mid to late May,” he said.
“We are targeting a large crowd providing that all of the guidelines and safety indicators allow us to have that large crowd, but it is our intent to have a large crowd for June 19 at Q2 Stadium,” Loughnane added.