What a special afternoon for Austin FC fans.
A rare occasion when the Verde community was welcomed into Q2 Stadium on a day that wasn’t matchday.
To dive right in, here’s our take — good and bad — of the first-ever Meet The Team event.
Good: In case there was any doubt, Austin FC is a SOCCER CITY. Verde love is strong in Austin. Thousands of fans turned out to celebrate the club with players and coaches on a hot and humid afternoon at Q2. Pretty sure it was double or triple the turnout they logistically planned for. In fact, it probably had more fans attend than some MLS clubs get on matchdays. We kid. Also, the fete was refreshingly FREE. Food and beverages were complimentary. There was no charge for autographs and photos.
To get a player’s perspective on McKalla’s fan fest, look no further than Ethan Finlay’s [@EthanFinlay13] tweet shortly after the event ended, “Unreal turnout for todays Austin FC season ticket holder event! Much Appreciated”
Bad: In their first celebration held for season ticket holders, Austin FC’s Oak Operations grossly missed the mark in managing the lines for the photo and autograph stations at the event. Some fans dutifully waited for nearly 2 hours only to be turned away just before the event’s scheduled end. With lines so long, most fans were lucky to visit 1 or 2 of the stations, out of seven total, making it impossible to meet many of the players at their assigned areas. Event organizers missed some opportunities too, like broadcasting coach Wolff’s Q&A session (with sound) on the stadium’s big screen for all the folks waiting on the concourse.
What was Austin FC’s Meet The Team Event?
If you’re not sure what the hoopla was about, Austin FC season ticket holders received an email to RSVP for a previously-unannounced Meet The Team event scheduled on June 4, 2022, during the club’s three-week break.
At the event itself, six stations were located throughout the stadium where Oak Collective members had the opportunity to get player autographs and photos. One other station was a Q&A session with Coach Wolff and other front office personnel.
Most Austin FC players were at the event, except a few for good reason: Alex Ring (out of the country), Owen Wolff (U-19 USYNT call-up),
Andrew Tarbell (reason unknown), and Freddy Kleemann (injured).
Surprisingly, Cecilio Domínguez was at the meet and greet. He’s been MIA since being reinstated following a lengthy suspension while MLS looked into off-field misconduct. Today was likely a PR move to reintroduce Ceci to fans as he works his way back into the game day roster. The club’s actions were loud and clear, he isn’t leaving ATX anytime soon.
The players in attendance were stationed at these locations around the stadium:
- Q2 Field Club
- Lexus Club
- Captain Morgan’s Club
- McKalla Corner (Southeast corner)
- On Camera Set (Southwest corner)
As we mentioned, complimentary food and beverages (water, soda, and beer) were also provided by these vendors (thank you!):
- Taco Flats
Upon entering the gates, fans received three redeemable vouchers, good at any of those vendors, as well as some other limited food stands set up on the concourse.
Finally, the club set up games for the kiddos, and of course, the Verde Store was open for business.
If you attended the first-ever Meet The Team event, tell us what you thought of it in the comments below.
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