Tag Archives: Austin FC

Price-Gouging For Soccer Stadium Parking Casts Shame Upon Austin

IBy Bill Oakey – June 16, 2021

If you think you have seen eliteism and utter disdain for “regular Austinites” of modest means, wait till you hear about this! The sorry, stuck-up snobs who crammed a soccer stadium into a North Austin neighborhood, with poor road access and only 835 on-site parking spaces, have another treat in store for you. I won’t ask you to take my word for it. Just look at these parking prices for the “Semi Final” (misspelled) game on July 29th. (Click to enlarge photos):

I have to wonder what type of person would pay $50 to park anywhere to do anything. If they have that little regard for money, why not just crumple all of the bills in their wallet into a sweaty ball and toss it onto the ground? Let somebody have it who can really do something useful with it. I might consider paying $50 parking to witness the first landing of visitors from another planet, if they were guaranteed to be friendly.

For a more down-to-earth parking arrangement and pricing for MLS soccer, check out the convenient, on-site parking for $10.00 at Toyota Stadium for the Dallas FC. You might have noticed that the $50 parking slots for the big game here on July 29th are not sold out. Nor are the $25 shuttle reservations, for which you get to hike 8/10th of a mile in the scorching heat, to the open-air Q2 Stadium. Once the fans get settled into their seats, it will be hot enough to fry an egg on the concrete. For the half-billion dollars that the team owners spent, you would think they could have built a covered, climate-controlled stadium.

The North Austin neighbors living next to the stadium wonder what their lives will be like, once the hordes of vehicles descend upon their streets and intersections for various upcoming events. To hear Capital Metro tell it, there will be rows upon rows of buses running up and down dozens of streets across town, taking giddy fans to the stadium. But the reality is that most Austinites have never set foot on a city bus. The low income folks who relied on Capital Metro for years to get to work, saw their neighborhood bus routes taken away a few years ago. The lucky ones who still have bus service have to transfer two or three times to get anywhere.

So, that leaves only one remaining hope for soccer fans who don’t want to pay exorbitant parking prices. They can take Uber or Lyft. At least their surge pricing doesn’t usually kick in until the return trip. But this sets up quite an interesting spectacle. Just close your eyes and try to imagine – 2,000, 5,000, 10,000 or 15,000 rideshare vehicles, inching along toward an uncertain destiny, in the greatest series of epic traffic Jams in the history of Texas!

Now, that’s something that I might pay a premium to see – in a comfortable, air conditioned helicopter ride.

A Big Shock Is Coming When The Soccer Stadium Opens!

By Bill Oakey – May 10, 2021

June 19th is just a few weeks away. It can’t come soon enough for area soccer fans, who have been eagerly awaiting the opening of Austin’s first professional sports stadium. Behind the scenes, however, lurks an ugly truth that may not be fully apparent to folks who haven’t been paying attention.

Where In the World Are People Supposed to Park?

The grand new stadium will open with just 2,000 on-site parking spaces. It comes with a seating capacity of 20,000. Well, surely our City officials, team owners and master planners figured out how to resolve that little nagging problem many months ago. Right? In a word, that would more accurately be put, Nope! Not a chance.

How totally boring and un-Austin-like it would be, if things like this were well organized and planned properly! Just imagine – Nothing to complain about at City Hall. Nobody organizing rallies or gathering signatures on a petition. We would all just glide through our daily lives. But, let’s talk about the real Austin.

The North Austin neighborhoods raised their parking concerns early on in the evolution of the soccer stadium. They opposed the location, primarily because of parking and traffic concerns. But nobody in town wanted the stadium on City parkland. So, the abandoned North Austin industrial site, complete with hazardous chemicals buried in the soil, got the official nod. When the negotiations were completed, the team owners gleefully walked away with fifty years of property tax abatements. The City of Austin surrendered immediately. AISD balked at first, but they, too, eventually rolled over and capitulated.

Neighborhood leaders wrung their hands in frustration over the lack of parking. A close friend told me about long discussions with local officials. But no thorough traffic impact analysis was ever done. Not a single ounce of pavement on any street or major road was expanded, improved or adjusted in any way whatsoever. There are some nearby businesses that could offer some parking after hours, but there is no word yet on any such negotiations. A couple of brew pubs have opened nearby. The owners are overjoyed at the prospect of after-game revelers. Maybe those folks will be well sobered up, after hiking several miles back to their cars, following the binges.

Just Imagine the Scene at the Opening Home Game!

Austin FC will be hosting the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday evening, June 19th. Packages of four tickets are still available at the amazing low price range of just $395.00 to $1,140.00. But here’s something that might be a whole lot more fun to do that day. Why not gather a group of friends and head over to the Domain that afternoon? The sheer madness of The Big Soccer Stadium Opening Spectacle should be an event for the history books. Somebody could even print up some “I Was There” T-Shirts. How often would you get a chance to see the Biggest Texas Traffic Jam of All Time? Maybe you could stroll among the cars, and sell bottled water or “Keep Austin Weird” bumper stickers.

A Closing Poem

They will comes from places far and near
To enjoy Austin soccer and a belly full of beer
The fans will be joyous, as happy as a lark
Until they discover there is no place to park!

Only two thousand spaces for twenty thousand seats
Expect chaos and bedlam in the neighborhood streets
The brew pubs are ready, they’re chomping at the bit
To them Austin soccer is a sure-fire hit

Think back and remember the early reports
Hurray, Hallelujah, it’s professional sports
It’s coming to Austin and it’s long overdue
But without decent parking, it will be quite a zoo

The chemicals beneath the industrial site
Will long be forgotten by opening night
The stadium they built is magnificent and grand
One of the finest in all the land

The team owners have lots of reasons for cheers
They scored tax abatements that will last fifty years
The fun all begins on a sweltering June night
You can still get your tickets, they are priced just right

A family of four, with such pleasures to derive
Can snag their seats for just $395
But before they rejoice ‘neath the moon and the stars
They will sit for hours in a long line of cars!