Austin FC’s just given fans another reason to come to the team’s new state-of-the-art stadium — even on days when the team doesn't play matches.
The Club announced Wednesday it will open three retail stores featuring Austin FC merchandise when the stadium opens in Spring 2021, including a flagship, two-story, 5,000 square foot store.
That fan mecca, simply called the Verde Store, will be open every day save for major holidays to provide fans with a variety of merchandise options, including the jerseys that will be unveiled by the end of 2020 and a co-branded product line from Austin FC Founding Partner YETI.
“We want the stadium to be the center point of our fan experience,” noted Austin FC President Andy Loughnane. “And as fans make the pilgrimage to our soccer cathedral, they will be rewarded with a flagship experience.”
The Verde Store, with its main entrance on the ground floor of the North Building, will be accessible to fans throughout the year. On match days, it has the potential to be particularly lively, as its second floor entrance will be adjacent to the Beer Hall—anticipated to be one of the main pre-match social hubs in the new stadium.
The Club is working with its new Official Retail Partner, Rank + Rally, the retail company of Levy, Austin FC’s partner for matchday food, beverage, and hospitality. Loughnane noted that the synergy between Levy and Austin FC made Rank + Rally a prime candidate for partnership, and Rank + Rally’s track record for sports franchises adds to their allure.
“Rank + Rally has done an outstanding job in helping to grow the merchandise platform for some of the most prestigious sports brands in the world, like the Chicago Cubs and the Los Angeles Lakers,” Loughnane noted. “It’s comforting to know that Rank + Rally has successfully operated merchandise experiences in legendary venues like Wrigley Field and Staples Center.”
In addition to the Verde Store, the Club is bringing two distinct retail spaces to the stadium for matchday. The ATXFC Shop, located on the west side of the stadium’s 300 level, will draw its inspiration from Austin’s fabled record stores. The Field Club will also feature a store located within it exclusively for Field Club members. That’s not the only way to get match day gear at the stadium, though, as Austin FC will place additional merchandise kiosks strategically throughout the concourses.
Loughnane suspects, though, that even with the multiple options, many fans will find their way to the Verde Store for the experience it will provide.
“This is where you'll have the ability to purchase Austin FC products for your pet,” he smiled. “This is where you will identify gifts for your friends and family members. This is where you’ll be able to customize a jersey. This is the location where, when there's a new hat introduced, you'll be able to get it first. This will be the premier destination for Austin FC merchandise.”