When Austin FC takes the pitch on February 25 for our 2023 MLS home opener against St. Louis CITY SC, it will have been exactly 125 days since we last gathered at Q2 Stadium. In celebration of our return, I thought it might be fun, and helpful, to showcase a handful of new experiences that our ownership, our players, our staff, and our League have all helped to create in ‘23.

To make it a bit easier to digest, I’ve divided my list of “what’s new in ‘23” into three (3) subcategories:

  • New media
  • New competitions
  • New matchday/in-stadium experiences

We’ve had a busy offseason, and hopefully this will be a useful guide as we all get ready for a very busy 2023 season:


MLS Season Pass:

Subscribing to MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV platform is the new way to watch 100% of all MLS regular season, MLS postseason, and Leagues Cup matches. No blackouts. No territory restrictions. And MLS Season Pass isn’t just reserved for live broadcasts – there is also an entire library of Austin FC (and League) content that will be curated including new player features and the moments, traditions, and people that form the fabric of our Club.

Reminder: all Austin FC season ticket members receive a complimentary subscription to MLS Season pass, so please make sure to check your inbox and redeem your MLS Season Pass code if you haven’t already. And importantly: please make sure to add Austin FC as your favorite club on the Apple platform. An MLS Season Pass subscription is $79/year if you’re already an Apple TV+ subscriber or $99/year if you’re not currently an Apple TV+ subscriber. T-Mobile and Metro wireless customers may be eligible for a complimentary ’23 MLS Season Pass for a limited time.

Weekly Austin FC TV Show:

Austin FC will partner with our friends at KXAN/KNVA to air a new 30-minute weekly TV show called “Verde Lights” that will broadcast on most Saturdays throughout the 2023 regular season on The CW Austin (KNVA). Familiar faces Adrian Healey and Michael Lahoud will host the show alongside legendary KXAN anchor Roger Wallace, and Verde Lights will be broadcast from KXAN/KNVA’s beautiful new state-of-the-art studio in Downtown Austin. Verde Lights will be a great resource to recap weekly Club news, as well as to preview the upcoming match that will be happening later that evening.


Concacaf Champions League:

By virtue of our fourth-place overall finish in the 2022 Supporters’ Shield standings, Austin FC – in just our third year – has qualified for CCL for the first time in our Club’s history. It’s a tremendous achievement as CCL features the best club teams from the Concacaf region (which includes North America, Central America, and the Caribbean), and the winner of the competition advances to the illustrious FIFA Club World Cup.

In the history of CCL, only one (1) MLS team has won the storied competition: Seattle Sounders FC in 2022. We’ll enter the 2023 CCL competition in the Round of 16, and the competition features a knockout style format with a two-match series (home and away) in each stage of the tournament. To kick-off our CCL campaign, Austin FC’s Round of 16 matchup is against Violette AC (Haiti). As a result of the conditions in Haiti, the opening match of the two-match series will be played in the neighboring Dominican Republic on Tuesday, March 7. The return leg will occur at Q2 Stadium on Tuesday March 14.

Austin FC Season Ticket Members receive their tickets to the March 14 Round of 16 matchup vs. Violette AC as part of membership. Single match tickets for March 14 are currently on-sale at

Leagues Cup:

You probably noticed the 36-day gap between our July 15 – August 20 regular season matches, and you may have been wondering why the MLS schedulers decide to deprive you of soccer in the middle of the summer. Well, we’ve got some really good news for you: we are NOT taking a 36-day break from competition. Instead, Austin FC will participate in a new, and very meaningful, competition featuring all 29 MLS teams and all 18 Liga MX teams.

To raise the stakes, all 47 clubs will enter a World Cup style tournament format that will take place from July 21 – August 19. With the exception of the reigning MLS Cup and Liga MX champions (who auto-qualify directly into a 32-team knockout stage), all remaining 45 teams will be placed within three-team groups that will serve as the Group Stage for the tournament. The top two (2) teams in each of the 15 groups will join the two (2) auto-qualifiers in the Round of 32 at which point each match becomes a single-elimination knockout game until the champion is crowned on August 19.

By virtue of finishingfourth overall in the 2022 regular season standings, Austin FC has qualified as a seeded MLS team in the tournament which affords Austin FC home field advantage for both of its Group Stage matches. We know that our Group Stage opponents will be Liga MX teams: Mazatlán FC and FC Juárez. The complete schedule for Leagues Cup is likely to be announced in the next couple of weeks, and I suspect Austin FC will host its first match early in the Group Stage competition schedule and its second match at the end of the Group Stage schedule (hopefully that helps with your planning). And in case you’re wondering what’s at stake: the winner, the runner-up, and the third-place finisher from the inaugural ’23 edition of Leagues Cup will automatically qualify to the ’24 edition of Concacaf Champions League… which means there is quite a bit at stake.

Austin FC II / MLS NEXT Pro:

There’s a brand-new team in the Austin FC organization as well, with the addition of Austin FC II (you might see us call it ATXFC II). This new squad will compete as one of 28 in MLS NEXT Pro, a fully professional leagued aimed at providing a platform for young players to develop and grow with high-level competitive experience.

ATXFC II will create a complete player development pathway at the Club, from the youngest levels of the Academy all the way through the first team. With a roster made up of a mix of players signed directly to the second team, first team players in need of minutes, and Academy players stepping up to the professional level for the first time.

MLS NEXT Pro matches feature a number of different rules as well, including penalty shootouts in all matches which end in draws after 90 minutes. The schedule for Austin FC II’s inaugural season will be released in the coming weeks, and I can confirm that Austin FC II will play home matches at St. David’s Performance Center (more details to come soon).


Primary Kit

The new ’23 primary jersey was released on February 15, and I am very pleased to share that the “Las Voces” kit became our number-one selling Austin FC kit when comparing the number of authentic jersey units sold after 24 hours.

The new primary kit, which will feature alongside the mint colored “Sentimiento” kit that launched in ’22, is an extension of our commitment to establish vertical green + black stripes into a Club tradition. In addition to the unique striping patterns found throughout our new jersey, the “Las Voces” kit also features a few new design details that have not previously been seen within our kit collection. Austin FC supporters continued the tradition of contributing to the jersey with the inscription “WE WILL SING WITH YOU FOREVER” upon the neckline. On the back of the neck, the Club has introduced a new creative interpretation of our ATX roots.


As part of MLS’ leaguewide commitment to developing consistency around the schedule, 16 of our 17 regular season home matches will start at 7:30 pm CT (the lone exception is September 24 vs. LA Galaxy which will start at 8:30pm). We’ll have four (4) new opponents that have not previously visited Q2 Stadium, including: St. Louis (February 25); Montréal (March 4); Toronto (May 20); and D.C. United (October 4).


What is a magnetometer you ask? They are the security devices that help screen for various metal objects when you enter a secure area such as an airport or a stadium. Q2 Stadium invested in new magnetometers which make it easier and faster for ticketed guests to pass through security screening all gates, namely because you do not have to remove the contents of your pockets to move through the screening device. This investment should speed up the guest entry process, make the process less intrusive, and of course continue to preserve safety.

“Just Walk Out” Technology / ATX MRKT

There are three (3) market-style concession environments within Q2 Stadium, and we are proud to have become the first soccer-specific stadium in the world to introduce Amazon’s “Just Walk Out” technology within one of those market locations.

The “ATX MRKT”, located on the Northeast concourse (near the Zebra Gate), will now become our first “Listos To Go” enabled location to help streamline the checkout process through the use of leading edge technology. Stadium guests will present their credit card at the ATX MRKT entry point to begin the process. Once inside, anything a guest selects from the shelf will then be automatically added to their virtual cart, and anything placed back on the shelf comes out of their virtual cart. When fans have completed their shopping experience within the ATX Market, they will be able to leave the store without waiting in line to check out. Upon exit, the credit card used at entry will be charged only for the items they left the store with.


One Taco, a Club partner and concession partner since our inaugural season in ‘21, will be expanding their successful Q2 Stadium operations and will now be featured within the larger taco concession stand on the North concourse (formerly occupied by Tacodeli).

Kerbey Lane, a new partner in ‘23, are now proudly the official Queso of Austin FC. Beginning in March, Kerbey Lane’s queso will be found at the queso stand in the Northeast concourse near the Zebra Gate.

CM Smokehouse, which currently can be found at Bouldin Acres on S. Lamar, will activate the portable cart formerly known as “512 BBQ” beginning in March.

And last but not least … we’ll be adding a new selection of ice creams at a new portable cart called the “Sweet Spot” on the East side.


We know that cell phone connectivity improved in the second half of last season after T-Mobile’s significant investment in boosting signal capacity for T-Mobile wireless customers who attend Q2 Stadium events and use their T-Mobile data plan while at the stadium. With that said, we still want to continuously find ways to enhance WiFi connectivity regardless of your wireless carrier, and I am pleased to share that a concerted effort was made across the offseason to supplement and upgrade our WiFi infrastructure with new equipment added in several locations:

  • Zebra Gate, Northwest Gate, and Southwest Gate where enhancements have been made on both sides of the gates, providing greater WiFi coverage for fans entering the stadium in addition to those who are already in the stadium.
  • North Concourse where we’ve added new antennas to improve connectivity for those walking on the North concourse.
  • Austin Telco Terrace/300 Level (see further detail below).

Austin Telco Terrace / 300 Level Upgrades

The Austin Telco Terrace (formerly known as Premium Terrace) is the 300 Level on the West side of Q2 Stadium that serves approximately 1,500 seats. As a kickoff to our new partnership with Austin Telco Federal Credit Union, we’ve made a few important upgrades to the Austin Telco Terrace:

First, we’ve added a shading system on the outer perimeter of the 300 Level concourse which will reduce exposure to the sun for guests (and employees). We’ve also added a ceiling-mounted water misting feature that runs the entire length of the Austin Telco Terrace and will produce a cooling mist during warmer event days. Secondly, as previously noted we’ve made some adjustments to the WiFi in this location, specifically we lowered the height of the pre-existing access points to reduce inadvertent obstruction from the ductwork, as well as adding an additional access point near the Taco Flats stand. Thirdly, in an effort to speed service in the ATX Shop, we’ve added a new touchless checkout unit as well as a new point-of-sale kiosk – both of which should play a role in accelerating checkout.

And lastly, we’ve provided more color and vibrancy to the Austin Telco Terrace by working with local artists who have created new wall mural art on this level. As an extension of our ATXFC Artist Initiative, Austin Telco, Austin FC, and artists Avery Orendorf and Luis Angulo teamed up to develop murals celebrating Austin FC and the culture around our Club. On the south side of the terrace, Avery’s piece welcomes you to the Terrace, while on the north side, Luis’ work is a nod to our fan culture.

Wall Mural Near Zebra Gate

In addition to the new murals at the Austin Telco Terrace, we continue the traditional of our rotating mural near The Zebra Gate at Q2 Stadium. Austin FC has been honored to previously feature original works from Chris Rogers, Will Bryant, Fabian Rey, and Sade Lawson.

For the 2023 season, we welcome Rex Hamilton. As an Austin native, Rex is a key figure in our creative community. You’ve likely seen his mural work throughout our city, featuring vibrant colors and large format designs. His work at Q2 Stadium combines his personal style with our Club’s story. The full piece will be visible in time for opening day.

Hydration Station

We’ve ordered a third permanent hydration station that will be placed in the Southwest corner on the 100-Level concourse. This new hydration station, which will be similar to the two (2) hydration stations that currently exist in the Northwest and Southeast corners of the 100-Level concourse, will provide additional access to water for our guests.

Due to timelines beyond our control, we anticipate installation of the third station to occur at some point in May ’23 (ahead of the warmest months). Since their installation, we’ve noticed that the two (2) existing water stations tend to have very little wait times (sometimes there is no wait time) if you approach the hydration station about 1-2 minutes after a half begins and it remains that way until about 1-2 minutes before a half ends.

Stadium-wide Energy

We’re proud of the loud, raucous atmosphere inside Q2 Stadium. We also know there are many Austin FC fans who would love to sing along with our incredible Supporter Section. Be on the lookout for a few stadium-wide moments that will hopefully come to life in a way that has not previously been fully experienced at Q2 Stadium during a regular season match.

In closing, I want to extend a big THANK YOU to Austin FC staff who have worked tirelessly to get ready for our third season, and as always: another big THANK YOU to our fans and our partners for continuously helping to build this Club into a very special community that rallies around soccer... and each other.

See you soon,