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(Claire Partain/Austonia)

When Q2 Stadium head chef Sam Boisjoly began choosing what food would be offered at Austin FC matches, he said he hoped to create a microcosm of Austin within the stadium walls.

"If I had a friend that had a layover for three hours at Austin... if he came here, he would be able to see Austin," Boisjoly said.


Just a month after opening its doors, Boisjoly's wishes have come true. Sold out crowds continue to pack 20,500 Verde seats as they celebrate Austin's first major league team with pride and a party spirit.

Before home team Austin FC ever stepped foot on the pitch to play, Q2 Stadium was christened by the world champion U.S. Women's National Team as they played Nigeria in front of a sold-out crowd on June 16. Thousands of fans decked out in red, white and blue flocked to the stadium, proudly sang the national anthem and threw up a "tifo," or gigantic banner, to commemorate the match.

They did much of the same at Austin FC's first home match on June 19 in a celebration that was clearly about more than the team. With Minister of Culture Matthew McConaughey banding a conga drum, a massive art piece depicting iconic Austin figures, and Austin musician Jackie Venson giving a prematch performance, the game was clearly a tribute to city of Austin itself.


After each match, supporters honor Austin music legend Daniel Johnston with a rendition of "True Love Will Find You in the End." (Claire Partain/Austonia)

Rigo Rodriguez, a leader in fan club Los Verdes who helped create the tifo, said it all adds up to create an unforgettable experience at Q2.

"It's not just about the tifo, it's not just about the music, it comes all together... (and) becomes the heartbeat of Austin," Rodriguez said. "Every little bit helps to create something special for the city."

The matchday experience has become an all-day affair. As early as 11 a.m., a Verde army flocks to dozens of local bars and breweries, including nearby fan club headquarters Hopsquad and Circle Brewing, to get the party started. Sometimes, thousands can be seen marching on the stadium with the fan band La Murga, and supporters wearing anything from kilts to bright green wrestling masks lead chants outside Q2 before the stadium opens.

Once inside, fans can choose from dozens of local vendors, meet the mascot of the week—a rescue dog from Austin Pets Alive!—and hang out at Q2's giant Beer Hall, which features dozens of local beers on draft. Nearly every match, fan club members prepare a special presentation—from Pride art to Austin-centric chants—just before the national anthem is sung by a well-known local artist.

The supporters' section becomes nearly as entertaining as the match itself as they keep chants going all match long, release Verde smoke and toss their beers high into the air. Around the stadium, diehard fans and first-timers mingle as the club plays down below.

Austin FC fans stay on their feet at every home match. (Claire Partain/Austonia)

There's a reason that Austin FC's fan base has attracted both supporters with no prior soccer knowledge as and futbol fanatics. Many had been fighting to bring a team to Austin for years, and supporters recognize the importance of the club every single matchday.

Jay Torres, a "capo," or band leader for La Murga, was one of the first to get his "home"—the Austin FC crest—tattooed on his arm. Torres was part of the movement to bring a team to Austin as far back as 2018.

"It pulls the city together... it's beautiful," Torres said. "Lake Travis, Del Valle, and everything in between, we're all hanging out and pulling in the same direction. It brings people together."


Even when Austin FC was scoreless for the first three matches within their home fortress, Austin fans continued to sing for their team as they kept a steady drum beat with glow-in-the-dark bass drums. Three weeks later, when Austin broke the floodgates with four goals in a match, the already-loud crowd was deafening. Lights were dimmed to a deep Verde as over 20,000 cheered in Austin.

Austin FC player Jon Gallagher broke the ice with the first goal at Q2 Stadium in front of a roaring crowd. (Austin FC/Twitter)


At the Austin FC friendly match vs. all-star Mexican team Tigres UANL on Tuesday, Della W., who was decked out head to toe with the club's Verde colors, said the match was more about Austin than anything else.

"It's about supporting Austin and the city and showing people our culture... what we're about," Della said.

Della W., pictured left, said Austin FC matches are about more than just soccer- they're also an exhibition of Austin pride. (Claire Partain/Austonia)


All things Austin—from tacos to live music to a diverse soccer-loving community—are always on full display at Q2 Stadium, Austin's biggest party.

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