The NashVERDE crew may be gone, but these watch parties will keep the Austin FC spirit alive in Austin
Austin FC has their captain back, and they'll need him as they go against fellow expansion team Nashville SC
In DenVERDE fashion, when hundreds of Austin FC supporters marched in Denver before their club played the Colorado Rapids, the crew is on the road again this week for a NashVERDE event.
For those sticking to Texas, here's some watch parties for you to watch the nationally-televised match at 8 p.m. Sunday.
Austin Anthem watch party, Celis Brewing 10001 Metric Blvd.
If you’re not going to Nashville, the next best place to be is at @CelisBeers with #LosZanates. #AustinFC vs #NashvilleSC. Match starts at 8pm on Sunday, 5/23.— Austin Anthem (@AustinAnthem) May 17, 2021
A full list of watch party partner locations and schedule is on our site.https://t.co/ihNvOM5Zd6
📹 @schiffhappens pic.twitter.com/Mn8pZdZkTX
Fan club Austin Anthem has set their roots in Celis Brewing, the Verde-clad brewery decked out with "LISTOS" posters and merch that sits just feet away from Q2 Stadium.
This week, the club is back at their home base to watch their club play. The match begins at 8 p.m., but be there early if you want prime seating and parking.
Official Austin FC watch party, 11500B Rock Rose Ave.
Looking to start the party 9 hours before the match? Austin FC is launching another official watch party with live music, raffle awards and the Verde Van, this time at Jack and Ginger's. Test your luck in the raffle for a team-signed jersey and enjoy drink specials by Heineken.
Los Verdes watch party, Hopsquad Brewing 2307 Kramer Ln
Just feet from the party at Celis, Los Verdes is hosting a watch party for those not making it to Nashville. Austin FC fan band La Murga de Austin will be there, and incomers can enjoy $1 off their first beer is they come by Cap Metro or ridesharing. Come early for this one as well if you want good parking.
San Antonio watch party, The Lion and the Rose 17627 La Cantera Pkwy
Hey San Antonio soccer/football fans!!! Come to the @LionandRoseSA to check out @AustinFC take on @NashvilleSC on Sunday night! We’ll be joining @OakArmyNB and talk about making the #210Verdes guild even better. Let me know if you’re coming! pic.twitter.com/XlbRH6Nr9d— 210 Verdes (@210Verdes) May 19, 2021
The Austin FC hype has trickled down to San Antonio. For those a little south on I-35, join San Antonio Austin FC fan club 210 Verdes at The Lion and the Rose just before kickoff, at 7:30 p.m. Beware of the wrath from San Antonio FC fans.
40 Pub Partners
From Round Rock to San Marcos, these 40 pubs are set to show the match as official pub partners of Austin FC. They could get packed, so make sure to be there before kickoff at 8 p.m. Sunday.
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Two of Texas' top 10 most wanted fugitives were arrested this week, one of which was captured in Austin, a gang member by the name of Edward De Los Santos.
De Los Santos, a 43-year-old affiliated with the Tango Blast gang, was arrested at a South Austin hotel on Sept. 22 by the U.S. Marshals Lone Star Fugitive Task Force, Texas Department of Public Safety Special Agents and the Austin Police Department.
De Los Santos was wanted for continuous violence against family members, assault with injury, possession of a controlled substance and evading arrest with a vehicle. The Tango Blast member was added to the Most Wanted list on Sept. 2 and has been convicted with multiple accounts of aggravated assault, burglary of a habitation and aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon in the past.
The other, 51-year-old Moises Calderon, was arrested for affiliation with the Hermandad de Pistoleros Latinos gang on Sept. 23 in an apartment in San Antonio.
Calderon has been in and out of prison since 1991, when he was convicted of murder and sentenced to 40 years only to be let out on parole in November 2014. He has been wanted since violating his parole in October 2020.
Both of the gang members were located thanks to tips, which Texas Crime Stoppers will payout. Texas Crime Stoppers is funded by the Governor's Criminal Justice Division and pays out cash tips to those who provide information that leads to an arrest.
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Heading to Q2 Stadium? Four months ago, it would've been tough to do so without dropping a pretty penny, but by mid-September, season ticket holders were clamoring to sell their seats for as little as a $10 beer.
While Austin FC continues to sell-out crowds—their most recent match was at capacity despite their record and scheduling conflict with a Texas Longhorns game—demand has dipped as new factors continue to pull down prices.
Austin FC's rocky season has been met with unbridled fan support, but it's also lost that honeymoon-phase traction as they fell to the bottom of the standings, faced a third COVID surge and were met with school, work and good ol' Texas football.
On Sept. 15, Austin FC fan Tanis Olvedo was willing to strike a deal: two beers for a ticket.
Austin FC went from $200+ tickets to this 😪 we down bad pic.twitter.com/Q3yOr7UBiC
— Darth Concha (@davidhidalgo44) September 15, 2021
Although he later sold at cost to another season ticket holder, many fans have seen the value of their season tickets take a serious dip. By Wednesday, Sept. 15, tickets that were once no lower than $36 had dropped to as little as $14.
Austin Anthem member Phil Stanch used his accounting skills to map out the dip in his ticket sales prices.
Phil Stanch found that the predicted value of his season tickets (in orange) will continue to trend downward. (Phil Stanch)
Here are the main reasons why fans say Austin FC's ticket prices have taken a tumble:
Austin FC's first home game on June 19 seemed like perfect timing—by June 16, 51% of Travis County residents were fully vaccinated. Mid-May saw Austin lift its risk-based guidelines to Stage 2 for the first time since the pandemic's onset just in time for the brand-new Q2 Stadium to open at 100% capacity.
But with the third surge sending Austin back into Stage 5 and hospitalizations skyrocketing in late summer, some diehard fans reluctantly began opting for the couch over a 20,738-capacity stadium.
That safety-consciousness comes tenfold for parents of young children who are still ineligible to get vaccinated, at-risk fans and the older population.
School starting and unvaccinated kids. That’s why we haven’t gone in a while. We are season ticket holders, so we have just given ours away to friends and coworkers that can go.— jae (@jae98342926) September 23, 2021
Austin has stuck to capacity and hasn't added any masking or testing requirements, garnering some criticism from fans.
I stopped going because of the COVID surge. I tried to sell my tickets a couple of times and they didn’t move. Then I decided to eat them to make space. Not happy the club didn’t create a mask or vaccination requirement.— Ruben Cavazos (@rcavazos) September 24, 2021
Just as the surge reached its peak in mid-August, schools across Austin once again opened in-person, leaving many families unable to go to late-night games on weeknights. Ten of the club's 17 home games have been on Wednesdays, Thursdays or Sundays—days that have quickly transformed into "school nights."
With 9-5ers unable to justify 8:30 p.m. weeknight games and kids tucked in bed by 10, fewer fans have been able to make their way to the games.
And with school comes another conflict of interest- tried-and-true Texas football is fully underway, and though Sept. 18 saw a sold-out crowd, a few Verde seats were left empty as the two teams played at home at the same time for the first time.
A combo of a number of things:— Tom H (@hallockitup) September 23, 2021
- Wednesday or Sunday games that end around 10pm are not appealing to people with jobs or kids.
- Being in last place hurts, no matter how passionate people are about the team. Nothing on the line.
- This is still Texas, and it’s football season.
While COVID and fall responsibilities have played a factor, Austin FC is also dealing with the unfortunate reality of being a last-place team.
Season ticket holder Doug Mayo was one of the 4% of season ticket holders who didn't renew his deal with the team. Once confident that he would easily sell the coveted tickets for their original price, the team's record plummeted alongside his own ticket prices. Mayo said that the team's 5-4-16 record caused their honeymoon phase to end prematurely.
"The newness wore off fast," Mayo said. "Nobody wants to go to a sporting event when it's 99% certain the team they support will lose."
For Mayo, it'll take a better record and more passionate play on the field to get him back in the 20,000-member season ticket waitlist.
"Mainly (I want) them to start acting more like a professional team," Mayo said. "We were so excited to have something to look forward to throughout COVID and it's just been a disappointment."
I've been a big supporter in general, I went to 4 games in the first half of the season, but no amount of "fan camaraderie" makes me want to spend $30-40 to see a team that plays without heart. And that's bc the last game I saw we actually won (albeit Houston was down a man).— Brown and in Austin (@DisraelTV) September 23, 2021
Still other reasons abound: some fans say it's those $10 beers themselves that cause prices to dip, while others say tickets were overpriced in the first place. Although Austin FC says 96% of season ticket holders decided to renew for 2022, many did so with a grain of salt, including longtime fan Shawn Collins.
"I have tickets in 110 (the Lexus Club) and even when the demand was crazy high I couldn't get face for my tickets because they were so high to begin with," Collins said. "When I got them I figured I'd make back what I paid on games I couldn't attend."
Austin FC's dip in ticket sales may be more of an MLS problem than a unique issue: gameday employee and University of Texas sports business student Ben Patterson said that prices shot up due to pre-season excitement and are now at more normal levels.
"The initial hype of finally having a pro sports team is likely what drove up season ticket prices at the start of the year," Patterson said. "Now that excitement has cooled off, ticket prices have dropped in value steeply."
But while five straight losses are enough to drive at least some fans away, plenty are committed to staying Verde through thick and thin.
It might not be easy being green, but thousands of fans are now enjoying the benefits of $20 tickets as they continue to pack Q2.
Let's not question why tickets are NOT expensive.
Let's just keep buying tickets at $20. Whaddaya say? https://t.co/HkhOjczzZJ
— AC (@Arc34_) September 24, 2021
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