Austin FC had their season opener last weekend, and Nate and I went and had the best time!! After being pregnant for all of the games last season, I was especially excited to be able to go to this game, pregame at a brewery with some friends, and enjoy not having to get up to pee every 15 minutes. 😉
I wanted to share a little photo recap of the soccer game, and then at the bottom of this post I’m going to answer your FAQs. Every time I post on instagram stories about the games at Q2 Stadium, y’all always send a bunch of questions. I’ve been saving those and I’m just going to answer all of them here today, so they’re in one place and you can reference them later. (Of course, all of the official Q2 Stadium protocol are listed on their website, so check that…but I’ll provide my perspective too, in case that’s helpful.)
On Saturday afternoon Austin was hit with a COLD cold cold front! February weather can go from 70 degrees to 30 degrees and then back again in the matter of 24 hours. It’s so bizarre.
Anyway, we bundled up, kissed the babies goodbye, and went to go cheer on our team! (By the way, bundling up for this game reminded me of this freeeeezing cold NFL game Nate and I attended back when we were engaged! Brr.) I wore pretty much all of my cold weather gear that I’ve purchased for various cold weather trips..haha! I never buy cold weather gear for Austin, but I end up using it here about once or twice a year. I wore the parka I bought for our 2020 UK trip, a pair of super warm and waterproof boots I bought for our anniversary trip to New York, gloves and liners that I bought for our trip to Denver last month. I don’t buy a lot of cold weather gear, so I try to just get a few basic high-quality items and I use them over and over and over again!
Plus my Austin FC scarf! They mailed these to all of the season ticket-holders last year for the opening season, and it was literally 100 degrees when I opened that package. I couldn’t even fathom ever wearing a scarf to a game…and here I am, wearing said scarf! It was actually really fun to have one freezing cold game this season. (But no more, Austin…OK?)
Oh wait! See this little leather wristlet? It’s new! My sister, Cara, was buying for me for Christmas 2021, and when she asked what I wanted I told her I really wanted a small purse/wallet that’s the Q2 Stadium would allow me to bring into the games. They’re kind of strict about what’s allowed inside. It’s from Able, an amazing eco-friendly company that is incredibly transparent about the wages they pay their employees. Seriously, everything about them is so great, from the way they treat their customers to the planet to the women who make the clothing and handbags. Anyway, this little wristlet was the perfect size to bring into Q2 Stadium! I saved it for this day, because I just want it to be my “soccer bag” where I keep all the little odds and ends that I want to bring into the stadium.
We met up with some friends and pregamed at Hop Squad! Again… SO MUCH FUN to be able to pregame this year now that I’m not pregnant with Dayton!! I loved being able to hold him for those 40 weeks…but I’m not sad at all that I don’t have to carry him around during every game this year.
The line at Hop Squad is always super long before the game, so we tend to order a bunch of drinks so we don’t have to go stand in line for a second round. Hence the tabletop that’s covered with lots and lots of delicious beer.
So much noise! And excitement! And trombones!! There’s such a fun energy at these games, and I think that everyone was especially excited since this was the season kick off. Austin has needed a sports team to support!
Hop Squad’s just a quick 10 minute walk from the stadium, so we got our drinks and then strolled over to Q2 Stadium with our friends.
Selfie before the game!! It was just barely starting to rain at this point (poor athletes!) and I was very happy to be all bundled up in a waterproof parka.
We found our seats and ordered some food. I loooove the food selection at Q2 Stadium. It’s a really fun representation of Austin’s food scene: tacos, barbecue, pizza, and a few other odds and ends like bao buns and hot dogs. Nate went with a brisket sandwich from Valentina’s…
And I was in the mood for pizza, so I went with a couple of slices from Double Daves.
…which was honestly not very good. I feel like their pizza at the Double Dave’s restaurants around town is decent as a takeout option, but at the stadium it was kind of cold and cardboard-y and not my favorite Q2 Stadium option. It’s convenient because you can order it ahead on the app, but it’s definitely not in my top 3 for food at Q2..
Btw, most of the food this year is the same as last, but there are a few new options! This “Verde Vegan” from 512 Food Co is new and notable if you’re looking for some vegan food options at the Austin FC games. I haven’t tried it yet, but there was a steady stream of fans lined up waiting to order.
And you can also find cans of Carl Kolsch from St Elmo brewery! This is one of my all-time favorite beers in the whole city of Austin, so I was pumped to find it at the stadium! It’s the perfect summer beer: super flavorful, always brewed consistently, a medium-body (and a medium ABV), and crisp and refreshing in the hot Austin summers. I love ya, Carl.
National Anthem time! They alway shoot fireworks off from the field on “and the rocket’s red glare” and everyone cheers and it’s just such a fun, anticipatory energy.
Freezing cold and so much fun!! I was very happy to be sitting in my cozy seat all snuggled up next to Nate and NOT out on that field. Ha. I put some of those hot hands thermal pouches inside my wool socks, so my feet were all snug and warm. I can’t believe how freezing 39 felt…and I can’t believe that people go to football games in cold weather states when its 5 degrees outside.
We won 5-0! Woohoo! It was the perfect way to kick off the second season. Since this was the first game of the year and Austin scored so many points, we were actually #1 in the entire league after the game. Nate took a screenshot of all of the team rankings, just in case the season turns sour later on. Haha. (But that totally won’t happen, right?)
Your FAQs about Austin FC games at Q2 Stadium
Ok, now that I’ve been to a full season of games, I figured I’d answer some of your FAQs! I get a bunch of them on instagram, and sometimes I answer them there. But I don’t get around to answering all of them, and I want to share the answers here so everyone can see. Hope this is helpful!
Can I bring kids to a game? Yes, and you can read about Milo’s first Austin FC game right here! Children under 2 are free. As with anything involving kids, it’s a different experience when you have your kids at a game with you. I enjoy both ways for different reasons! I definitely want to bring Dayton to his first game this season, and I’ll probably bring Milo to another game next season when he’s old enough to experience it differently. But it’s also really fun to just be there with Nate and leave the babies at home with a babysitter.
Do handbags have to be clear? No. Unlike the UT football stadium, Q2 stadium doesn’t require handbags to be clear. You just have to make sure your bag is within the sizes listed on their bag policy: equal to or smaller than the size of your hand (approximately 8″x5″x1″)
Once I brought in a crossbody bag that was bigger than that, and that asked me to either put it in a locker or walk it back to my car. So they do enforce the size fairly strictly. The exception to the bag rule is for diaper bags and medical bags (including breast pumps!) that you need to bring into the stadium.
Do diaper bags have to be a certain size? When we brought Milo to a game, we brought his normal diaper bag backpack and it was fine! I didn’t pack many snacks/drinks for him because I wasn’t sure if they’d allow them, but they didn’t care at all. They did a diaper bag search, but it wasn’t an issue at all to bring in his snacks. So next time I pack a diaper bag, I’m going to bring all the snacks for him.
How early should I get to the game? The 30 minutes before the game are when all of the food vendors are the most crowded, so if it’s your first game, I’d plan on getting there about 45 minutes before kickoff. Or, you can get there closer to kickoff and then go get your food after the game begins and the lines go down. BTW, you can download the Austin FC app and pre-order food from a couple vendors and just walk to pick it up and avoid the lines! Not all of the food vendors offer this, but a couple of them do.
Best food vendors at Q2 stadium? Honestly, now that I’ve tried just about all of them, I always go back to the same 2 vendors: One Taco, or Valentina’s BBQ. One Taco is really great because they make the tacos right when you order them (they heat the tortilla, fill it with a TON of meat + freshly cut avocado), and the tacos are pretty large for the price. The other other taco vendors at Q2 stadium have pre-wrapped tacos that are a little bit gummy tasting by the time you open them, and they’re much smaller. And then Valentina’s is obviously one of the best bbq spots in Austin, so it’s fun to be able to enjoy it at the stadium. It doesn’t taste quite as good as if you’re eating it at their south Austin restaurant location, but it’s still delish.
Where should I park? If you can take the bus or train, that’s the most cost effective and convenient way. Since I’m on a pretty strict breastfeeding schedule and I often have to pump just before or after the game, Nate and I often drive so that I can have our car as my “home base” to sit in and pump and store my breastmilk in a cooler during the game. You can get the best prices on parking through the Pavement app. It’s basically a way for business around the stadium to lease out their parking spots to Austin FC fans…kind of like airbnb for parking spots.
Pumping/nursing during the game? Of course, it’s your legal right to breastfeed or pump in the stadium if you want to! If you prefer to have privacy, there’s a mother’s room with a soft chair, a changing table, and air conditioning for the summer months. It’s small, but there’s a lock on the door so you know you won’t be disturbed. I once tried to use it during half time, and there was a line of 4 moms waiting for it. So try to time your breastfeeding/pumping breaks during the game, rather than during halftime. There’s no tv in there (I’m assuming that’s because they don’t want a random person camping out in the lovely air-conditioned room for the entire game and hogging it from all of the moms who need to breastfeed), but there is a speaker so you can hear what’s going on during the games.
Ok, those are the main questions that I’ve gotten on ig. But if you have any more during questions, feel free to drop a comment below and I’ll get back to you!
Have a fabulous day! XO.