Austin FC moves closer to the first MLS season with significant steps in taking final shape, including pitch and seats installation, raised roof and selling season memberships. Construction workers continue to add finishing touches on the $260 million brand new stadium.
The pandemic certainly has been a difficult time for all the people responsible for the progressing the construction of the new 20,000+ stadium at McKalla Place. After the last update about halting progress due to COVID-19, roughly 75% construction gives the bright light at the end of the tunnel as its scheduled delivery is expected in the spring of 2021.
"We have not been immune to certain issues that we've had to resolve,” said Austin FC president Andy Loughnane. Underlined now that the project is on schedule, he also added that the COVID-19 restrictions required some logistics and safety adjustments.
"We've had some materials that were going to be sourced from certain countries and we've gone ahead and re-routed, and or, gone and found new resources to bring on some of those materials. We've had to adapt to the schedules for COVID-19 related health measures." Currently, Mr Loughnane underlines, the project is on schedule.
Roof in place
One of the signature design features of the stadium is the roof canopy. It looms out over the field and creates a sense of intimacy for the stadium. It also provides a real intimidation factor for visiting teams. It’s made out of a metal decking which is going to reflect noise of the fans back down onto the pitch. Current status of that element, which is a recognizable addition to the north Austin skyline, has been pointed on the level of 90% progress.
From the technology perspective one of the most important investments which are being made is in the lighting package. Such lighting systems can turn off the two million different shades of colors, essentially with the flick of a switch and they can be programmed simultaneously.
Pitch and seats installation makes it almost ready for the season
Three days of putting the grass has finished one of the crucial elements of stadium features. 115 yards by 75 yards (105m x 68.5m) pitch was made of the Platinum TE Seashore Paspalum, which the club got from Scottsdale, Arizona.
This species of grass will be used in MLS for the very first time, picked to meet the demands of an MLS season, and also as the solution to the shade created by the stadium design. It will be used at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, as the exclusive turfgrass for all stadiums and training sites.
According to the last updates from the club, 50% of all seats have already been installed. 6,000 seats are also equipped with the breathable mesh seating technology so that the seats won't be as hot if it's been in the sun all day.
Season ticket memberships sold out
Following the official announcement which comes from Austin FC we know that all of the season ticket memberships have been already sold. This means that about 15,000 seats have been taken by fans before the official opening. About 5,000 tickets will be available each game outside of the season tickets.
Author: Karol Tatar