Austin's soccer fans can rejoice and prepare to experience soccer as they never have before in their hometown. Austin's first and only Major League Soccer team, Austin FC, will kick off the excitement with the grand opening of its new stadium.
The $242 million privately-funded facility is on track to open in the spring of 2021 and—COVID-19 permitting—begin the 2021 season in the team's new home at 10414 McKalla Place.
On a 23.5 acre plot, the new stadium has a green seat for 20,500 people with 15,500 season tickets already sold-out and 5,000 general admission tickets available on game day.
Austin FC stadium on track for 2021 games www.youtube.com
Austin FC President Andy Loughnane said Austin's love for soccer created the demand for the new stadium.
"It's a growth sport across the country," Loughnane said. "The intersection of Austin being a market without a major league team, Austin being a city that loves the sport of soccer, the intersection of soccer and Austin's ripeness, it's just the perfect combination of pent up demand."
As of today, the stadium is about 75% finished. Green seats are being laid, grass has been planted and it is starting to look game ready.
With open corners for air-ventilation and a distinct wing on top to protect crowds from the sun, the stadium was designed with fan comfort in mind.
The stadium's wing extends over the seats and provides extra air ventilation for games on hot days.(Laura Figi/Austonia)
"I know Austin's ready from an emotional, spiritual perspective; this market has so much pent up demand for major league sports," Loughnane said. "I think we're meant to be the sort of flag bearer for all of Austin."
Though the stadium is being built specifically to host soccer games, the new venue will have something for everyone. Loughnane said the stadium was designed around Austin, which means it must include live music.
A view from where the stage will be placed inside the stadium.(Laura Figi/Austonia)
Upon completion, Austin FC's stadium will be able to host concerts for up to 22,000 people.
The stadium will also feature a beer hall and merchandise area.
"The stadium is inspired by Austin, between the sum of the architectural features of the stadium," Loughnane said. "We've made an investment in the stadium that represents the sounds of Austin, the tastes of Austin, and, you know, the smells of Austin. Some of that will come to life soon enough."
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UPDATE: The Lower Colorado River Authority has found potentially fatal bacteria in the Hudson Bend of Lake Travis, the same area where a dog was found dead after swimming in its waters.
A Sunday night shooting at a North Austin apartment complex has left one dead after being shot by an unknown suspect.
Austin police arrived at the scene of Midtown Commons at Crestview Station apartments at West St. Johns Avenue around 11:30 p.m., where they found a man with a gunshot wound. Police performed CPR but the man died shortly after. The identity of the victim has not been revealed.
Investigators talked to witnesses at the apartment complex and have a suspect in mind. No other information has been revealed at this time.
More vaccines could be headed to Austin as FDA greenlights single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine
This story was updated Monday to include that the vaccine received official approval by the FDA this weekend.
The Food and Drug Administration approved the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine that is to be shipped out this week, increasing the number of vaccines available.
In a virtual meeting on Friday, the FDA Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee unanimously approved of the U.S.'s third available COVID-19 vaccine, which was officially approved on Saturday. Federal officials say 4 million doses will go out nationally this week, with an expected 20 million doses to be available by the end of March. The Texas Department of State Health Services has said it expects to receive about 200,000 doses, but has not released a timeline of when doses will be shipped and available.