Lake Travis - Westlake Edition | May 2021

SPORTS Austin FC gears up for its rst home contest at Q2 Stadium

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Austin FC has several games on the road before hosting San Jose on June 19. Check out the full story online at communityimpact.com.

VS. MAY 9 6:30 P.M. CST AUSTIN FC SPORTING KANSAS CITY NEXT MATCH FOR AUST I N FC

BY IAIN OLDMAN

start well before kicko and last into the night. “We want to make sure if it’s a game day for Austin FC, you can’t go around without knowing it’s a game day,” said Mateo Clark, a member of the leadership committee and a trumpet player with La Murga de Austin, the festival band for Austin FC’s supporters groups. As of April 23, Austin FC has yet to comment on whether fans will even- tually be allowed to attend games in person. That decision, team President Andy Loughnane told Community Impact Newspaper , is likely to come about four weeks ahead of Austin FC’s home opener. The team will use the next month to examine the safety of in-person attendance at other major sporting events in Texas, Loughnane said. Currently, the Texas Rangers of Major League Baseball are playing

It is now ocial: Austin FC has begun its inaugural season, which kicked o April 17 on the road in Los Angeles. Road games followed in Commerce City, Colorado, and Minneapolis. The team and its fans, however, will have to wait until June for the inaugural kicko at Q2 Stadium, formerly known as McKalla Place, in North Austin. Major League Soccer announced March 10 that the debut home game for Austin FC will be held June 19, when the upstart team hosts the San Jose Earthquakes—one of the original charter clubs of the profes- sional soccer league. Ahead of the team’s summer home debut, supporters groups, surrounding businesses and Austin FC itself are nalizing preparations to make match days—for both home and away games—celebrations that

SOURCE: MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCERCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

with fans in the seats and the ability to remove their mask while seated. And its Minor League aliate, the Round Rock Express, opens with limited capacity and social distancing when it begins home games May 6. “We will be able to observe MLS matches in Texas and other large professional sporting events,” Loughnane said. “We will continue to observe and continue to be patient.” But even without fans at the sta- dium to begin the season, Austin FC supporter groups are hosting watch parties for away games. Loughnane said the team may explore hosting

away game events inside Q2 Stadium before the home opener. When fans are allowed into the stadium, James Ruth, the senior vice president of marketing for Austin FC, said the team is working to craft an experience for fans before, during and after the game. Live Oak Park, the park adjacent to the stadium, and HEB Plaza outside the stadium are both on track to be open in time for the June home opener, Ruth said. “To have those assets in our vicin- ity, it’s just going to totally elevate the game day experience,” Ruth said.

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LAKE TRAVIS  WESTLAKE EDITION • MAY 2021

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