If you didn’t read my last stadium update, I mentioned that designs would be finishing up around may, and it wouldn’t probably be until June that we see updated renderings. We are still waiting, but we stay ever vigilant. I was able to get some information about the “club” areas from Chris Saxton, the Premium Sales Manager at Austin FC.
There will be (at least) 3 Club areas within the stadium: An exclusive club for premium “Field Box owners”, a West Club for loge West and West Club seats, and an East Club for the Loge East and East Club seats. All of these spaces Chris spoke of correlate with the new drawings that were found online recently.
New architectural elevations for the Stadium at McKalla Place popped up a few weeks back, but you may not have noticed. I was surprised when it came and went relatively quickly through the different social media channels, perhaps because the casual fan did not know what they were looking at. The major parts of the stadium design remain the same. A curvy, exposed-truss canopy towers over, protecting bowl seats from the elements, and stands on four main pillars. Box seating on the west side, a large upper deck on the east. A large supporters section to the south where thousands of grackles will be singing directly to Matthew McConaughey,
and a two-story Austin FC Merch Store and convention space in the north.
Full Stadium elevation portfolio here
What will likely be the most noticeable change from the stadium’s original bowl design is the supporter’s section. In the original design, a large screen was uniquely offset, and a bar area sat atop the supporter’s section, similar in LAFC’s Banc of California Stadium. Now, however, the safe standing looks to be freestanding steel that hangs over the main concourse. The Videoboard now replaces the bar that would be on top of the supporter’s section. The most recent stadium to be built of a similar fashion is Allianz Field’s Wonderwall in Minnesota. Still a great stadium to be modeling after, however, I do want to point out that the Austin FC supporters sections will be bigger than Minnesota’s because it’s Texas y’all.
Be prepared for some great optics too, there’s probably going to be a couple live oak trees in the southeast corner of the stadium. A great nod to our crest and also happens to be where the most avid supporters will likely enter.
Changes in the original design are mostly detail oriented now. Support facilities on the east side now wrap around to the main entrance plaza, which will likely play host to some fan favorite food vendors, and thirst quenching alcoholic beverages. These facilities now have an iconic gabled roof, which is the shape that kindergarteners make when you tell them to draw a picture of home. When I think of these shapes in a football stadium context, I think of more historic venues from overseas in English football, like Craven Cottage, home to Fulham FC. It’s a nice touch in my opinion. As well you can see an outward facing patio which is likely an extension of the East Club.
The West stand has had a slight change in design as well. The elevator shafts which were originally positioned in the middle of the stand have moved to the south side, and we can now assume there is a premium entrance near McKalla place road which in this elevation looks to have a great all glass entrance. The courtyard behind the stand where lines would have queued to eat from food trucks is now nonexistent. They likely had to make some space on that side for an access road that cuts across the plot and onto Burnet.
Please keep in mind that this is all speculation and by the time the stadium is completed they may have gone through hundreds of changes. I may be right today and wrong tomorrow. Don’t blame me, blame google.
The rezoning was a major success and now Austin FC moves into construction documents phase. They need to get their designs approved by planning as well before they can dig up dirt in September. We still have yet to see a final design, but with the announcement that Membership deposits start on June 12th, I expect we will see a set of updated design renderings released in the next two weeks
And a related note, St. David’s Performance Center, the Austin FC training facility, will begin to take shape. A location has yet to be announced, and we still don’t know how big the facility will actually be. My guess is it installs somewhere east, Pflugerville perhaps.