Tifo: no other sport in America has it, and in Texas, there is no doubt who does it the best… supporters groups of Austin FC.
Verde and Black fans have gained worldwide renown for their singing and chanting for 90+ minutes at every home match, but this article will pay tribute to their excellence in tifo.
(If you’re new to footy culture, please read this explainer article to get up to speed on what a tifo is.)
Originally, I thought about using this space to rank the tifos that have graced Q2 Stadium over the first three seasons, but ranking works of art just feels weird and kind of gross — this is especially true about tifos because each one is a labor of love from hundreds of fans volunteering thousands of hours and dollars to bring them to completion.
So, I’m just going to list them out in chronological order (which still works because I like the first one the best — haha), and try to provide some background info to help you appreciate what went into them. Check back to this article as each new tifo will be added to it.
If seeing these tifos gets you curious about how this all comes together behind the scenes, you can watch this video; or even better… CLICK HERE and come out to a painting party!
June 19, 2021 | The First Home Match in Austin FC History
Austin FC’s supporters really rose to the occasion, paying homage to many of Austin’s most famous legends. (The Statesman’s article did a good job breaking down the iconic figures featured in the mural.) The symbolism of the Austin FC logo rising out of the middle of these icons, passed upwards on the hands of the supporters was a beautiful sight to behold.
June 28, 2021 | The 2nd Austin FC Home Match and a Fitting Honor to Close Out Pride Month
With this being the third tifo created by Austin’s supporters groups in just 12 days, another mural was never going to be possible. So the supporters turned to a classic — the massive human mosaic. It was a joyful tribute to the LGBTQIA community — for the first living mosaic in Austin FC’s history (see below for the next one – WOW). I have to say this was impressive and really successful!
September 26, 2021 | The Perfect Texas Tribute for Hispanic Heritage Month
This was a glorious tribute to the Latina who inspired so many across Texas and México: Selena!
La Murga de Austin song, “Cinco Uno Dos,” is also an adaptation of one of Selena’s hits, and it’s referenced in the inscriptions on this mural.
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March 6, 2022 | The First Tifo of the 2nd Season
The artists who designed this one really wanted to shoot for the moon! Deciding to fill in the letters of ‘AUSTIN’ with realistic depictions of some of our favorite players and moments from the 2021 season showed great ambition and skill!
This one would end up feeling a bit prophetic, as each of the men honored in this mural would go on to have brilliant performances in 2022, and propel the Verde to their first ever playoff run and a final four finish. Also, the inscription “Fútbol Capital of Texas” would also come to pass as we snatched the Copa Tejas from our Texas rivals!
June 25, 2022 | Tifo Protesting Mass Shootings & Honoring the Uvalde Victims
A tifo that never should have been. But until our nation changes its priorities, tifos like these must be displayed by SGs across the US. Some of these signs were sent to Nashville this year when they were also forced to tragically mourn a school shooting in their city.
October 16, 2022 | A Tifo to Celebrate the first Playoff Game in Austin FC History
This one pays homage to Austin’s famous bats that live under the Congress Avenue bridge. It also was a nod to the upcoming Halloween festivities by making the bat look kind of creepy/zombified.
The script reads “Verde Hasta La Muerte” (Green Until Death for you gringos), which was a rallying cry that was created by the supporters and became popular during the club’s second season.
October 23, 2022 | The 2nd Ever Playoff Game & 1st Ever Win Over FC Frisco
This tifo came together in just one week’s time. It’s pretty straightforward and not as creative as the rest of the tifos on this list, but it’s a true beauty that the night with its kinetic nature. The burst of confetti floating throughout the south end of the stadium, plus its movement really highlighted the strength of the thousands of fans that back the team.
Be sure to watch the video of this one to experience what I’m trying to describe. Also, my daughter really liked getting to take home a piece of confetti as a souvenir!
February 26, 2023 | The First Tifo of Season 3 — Keeping Austin Weird
Just like the previous kickoff tifos, the scale of this one was BIG! It was also really fun! This vibrant tifo captures the wackiness and wildness of Austin’s most fervent supporters.
This one was inspired by the original artwork of local artist Fabian Rey.
April 30, 2023 | Willie Nelson’s 90th Birthday
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but I have to point out that I love the timing of releasing the green smoke at the same time the mural is rising (in case you missed the joke in the painting about what kind of verde Willie’s always had on his mind).
Non-AustinFC Tifos unfurled at Q2 Stadium
June 16, 2021 | The First Soccer Match at Q2 featuring the USWNT
This is technically the first tifo ever exhibited at Austin FC’s stadium, but it was created to honor the USWNT. Given that it happened 3 days before Juneteenth, they chose honor Crystal Dunn’s extensive accomplishments in the mural, while also paying tribute to the US Women’s four World Cup victories with the 4 stars crowning the soccer ball. Go behind the scenes with KVUE’s excellent coverage of this tifo.
October 7, 2021 | The First USMNT Match, a World Cup Qualifier!
This one was a bold choice, but I was excited to see it! The not-so-subtle subtext? It’s about time the US men win the World Cup, too. This has long been my dream, to see our boys accomplish this monumental feat in my lifetime. It felt great to see my hopes and dreams visualized in this massive piece of artwork!
April 8, 2023 | A World Cup Send-Off Worthy of Champs, the one and only USWNT!
This was a 2-for-1 tifo night at Q2 Stadium! In the pregame, they hoisted many small banners that seemed to be brought in from around the country; the main one imploring the US women to “Defend the Crown Down Under.”
The second phase of the tifo hit during the actual game (around the 23rd minute) with the first full-stadium mosaic tifo to ever happen at Q2 Stadium. It was a reminder that a fifth World Cup victory is “Always Possible.”
May I suggest an edit? Technically the city’s first living mosaic’s in a sporting stadium were done at UT football games by the student section in the 50s & 60s when that trend was really popular at college games.
The Pride 2021 Austin FC one was the first for a pro sports team affiliated with the city, but not the first in the city.
Thanks for the feedback. We’ll fix it.