Minister of Culture and Austin FC part-owner Matthew McConaughey talked about the "long-run goals" of Austin FC with club commentators Adrian Healey and Mike Lahoud on Twitter Spaces on Wednesday.
Like a cowboy storyteller over a campfire, McConaughey painted a picture of Austin FC's triumphs and battles, the origins of his iconic Verde suit and his recent phone call with Head Coach Josh Wolff.
The team is hot off of a 3-1 triumph over the Portland Timbers but remains tied for last in the Western Conference with the fewest goals in MLS. But he isn't too worried about the losses—McConaughey, who coined the phrase "100-year war" for the team, said that their long-haul mentality is what will get the team through its pitfalls.
"What the '100-year war' mentality does is, when you don't win today, it doesn't suck everything out of you," McConaughey said. "It's an owner's mentality—we're not for rent, we're here to own."
McConaughey has been part of the team for years, watching as it was built from an idea to a stadium to a fanbase of thousands. "I had real chills when we laid the grass down in Q2," McConaughey said.
Nothing to see here. Just Matthew McConaughey in a green suit playing a bongo to pump up Austin FC fans. pic.twitter.com/auM64jWRG4
— 101 Great Goals (@101greatgoals) June 20, 2021
The award-winning actor also brought out his talents as a performer for Austin FC's first home match on June 19, when he banged a conga drum in front of the thousands-strong supporters' section. McConaughey said he was honored to help chant the fan base's mantra on the pitch of the first-ever home crowd.
McConaughey took to the pitch in none other than a Verde suit on June 19, an investment he said he had made over two years ago with his suitmaker in England.
"I got the swath of the trademark Verde that day," McConaughey said. "I hadn't worn it because I was saving it for that night...and the only thing when I looked at it before I headed out to go to the stadium I was like, 'I hope the damn thing still fits.'"
McConaughey said that the Black Angels song that Austin FC uses as they enter the pitch evokes the grit and battle mentality that the club has every time they play. "Win, lose or draw, if we can play with that fierceness, vitality, attack, and mental acuity just absolutely locked in that song, then we're on the way forward, and we can play that song for the next 100 years."
But the club hasn't always seemed fully fit for battle. An expansion team has unique obstacles and pressure, especially on Wolff. McConaughey said he gave Wolff a call a week or two ago at the height of his criticism as the team was losing games.
"We've gone through a rough patch, trying to move around some chess pieces, you know, got a few losses in a row," McConaughey said. "And I can see he's grinding. I can see the players grinding. I can see his own molars are meeting in the back of his mouth... And so I just wanted to give him a call for support and just say, 'Hey, how are you doing?"
Now with a "flash of excellence" here and there, especially at the hands of keeper Brad Stuver, McConaughey said the team just needs to settle in their identity to keep consistently triumphant.
"It's part of trust in teammates, it's part of trust in each player and trust in themselves," McConaughey said. "We're still intellectualizing some of what we're doing and what we need to do to win is when that mind process slips down into the guts, hearts and minds of our players. It's not a thoughtful process, it's an instinctual process... we're growing with it and I think we've got a great base."
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Airbnb is moving to make its COVID-induced ban on house parties permanent—but from the affordable housing shortage to
"Under 25" bans, the short-term rental service may be losing its shine in Austin.
In 2019, the company moved to prohibit “open-invite” parties that were advertised on social media and “chronic party houses." By 2020, its ban broadened to all parties and events "until further notice," which was officially coded into policy Tuesday.
From August 2020 to January 2022, Airbnb denied over 48,000 reservations in Texas from serial party offenders, and around 3,300 reservations were declined through the "Under 25" system in Austin.
For some Austinites, the party ban may be the last straw.
Society has progressed past the need for Airbnb's https://t.co/44rTBDQPX1
— Caleb (@ipleadthef1th) June 20, 2022
But Airbnb has already caught plenty of flack for its possible contributions to the nation's housing shortage.
In Austin, short-term rentals are required to be registered through the city. And while the city reports around 1,900 rental units in the rental registry, according to city demographer Lila Valencia, data collection site Inside Airbnb has tracked close to 12,000 in the area.
Inside Airbnb founder Murray Cox said that too many Airbnbs in Austin could shrink the available housing market.
"If the housing units (have) been taken off the market, that's displacing people, it's making housing more scarce. And it's probably driving the cost of housing up," Cox told Austonia.
Short-term rentals could also eat into new housing in Austin, from apartment buildings to accessory dwelling units on single-family properties.
"If new housing has been built, and it's being tied to Airbnb, that's also really just servicing the tourism industry as opposed to the housing needs of the city," Cox said.
Because a large portion of its customers are tourists, Airbnbs may also tend to crowd around desirable areas, such as downtown or South Congress. South Congress's average rent now rivals New York City, according to Austin Business Journal.
"When that happens, you're taking away housing units in an already densely-populated area where there is more of a shortage of housing," Valencia said. "And so then the people who historically once lived there are no longer able to afford to live there, and the unit itself isn't even going to somebody who could afford to rent it on a more permanent basis, but rather to people who are coming in and visiting for a weekend or two."
Despite the pandemic—and growing frustration among homeowners and renters—Airbnb saw a record year in 2021. But two of Airbnb's billionaire founders have quietly sold $1.2 billion in company stock in the last year, a possible premonition of what's to come.
And while some have created an Airbnb "empire"—one company owns 338 available listings in Austin—many priced-out Austinites are fed up with big investors' influence in the tight housing market.
These are not imperialist conquerors; they’re over leveraged milk toast millennials who probably borrowed money from their wealthy boomer parents and be bailed out by the same #housingmarket#airbnb#recessionpic.twitter.com/K6DM8bT730
— Texas Runner (@OGtexasrunner) June 21, 2022
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