The new Q2 stadium, home of Austin FC, has been an entertaining force to be reckoned with this summer! While the team itself has had some bad luck in its first year, the experience of watching them play is something truly amazing! Being in that stadium, listening to chants of “Alright, Alright, Alright, Austin FC” just feels so amazingly Austin! Taking kids to sporting events comes with its own set of challenges. Q2 Stadium is not immune to any of these, but with some planning, the whole family can enjoy the experience.
There are multiple ways to get to the Q2 Stadium. If money is no object, park at the stadium. The parking lot is stupidly expensive, but easy to get your kids from point A to point B. If you don’t want to spend an arm, but maybe just a leg, several businesses around the stadium offer parking. The walk to the stadium is a bit longer, but you still have the luxury of bringing your own car. The bus and the MetroRail are the cheapest of the options. Both drop off and pick up only a few blocks from the stadium. I didn’t mind taking the bus and it was nice not to worry about traffic. However, it is a long ride at the end of the night to your station. Once you get to your car, you still have to drive home. This would be about the time kids start to have their emotional breakdowns.
The food might be my favorite part of visiting the stadium. A lot of your local favorites like Taco Deli are there. There is also a fabulous convenience store if you just want your standard chips and drinks. When you get there, do a lap with the family and look at all the food options. And let’s not forget the Queso bar. Let me repeat that. The QUESO BAR! It doesn’t get more Texas than being able plate your own nachos with your choice of queso!
Y’all, it is just so much fun! The fans make the experience. Even if you have never played soccer a day in your life, you will get up and cheer with the fans. Between the drums, the lights and the singing, you can’t help but get into the spirit of everything!
Q2 Stadium has a Guest Services station in the main concourse. They offer stroller parking and also provide emergency wrist bands for children. The wristbands contain contact information on them in case you get separated. It should be the first place you stop once you get into the stadium.
Have a meeting spot
It’s easy to lose track of your kids in the massive amounts of people and action. Make sure your kids know where your seats are. Make sure they know who the stadium workers are and what they are wearing so they can ask for help. You should also have a meeting place if you get separated. Guest Services would be a good spot to take your kids to see. The stadium itself is very easy to find your way around. It is one big circle, so even if you get turned around, you will easily end up back where you started.
For your littles, a pair of noise cancelling headphones will be a big help. The stadium isn’t as loud as a rock concert, but loud enough for kids to feel overwhelmed.
Beat the Heat
Summer is winding down, and the soccer season goes well into the fall when temperatures are nicer. But the Texas heat, mixed with Texans’ body heat, is very tough. Make sure your kids are in their summer clothes. Bring portable fans or cold towels to help cool you off.
So should to take the family out to visit Q2 Stadium?
0-3 years (proceed with caution)
Almost all the games start around 8 pm. There are two afternoon games in October, but besides that, it is probably too late for the littles. With a pair of noise cancelling headphones, they would definitely get a kick out of watching all the activity around them. But the heat and the noise could very easily lead to a meltdown. Some of the amazing things Q2 Stadium offers are nursing rooms, cooling off rooms, and changing tables in the women’s and men’s room!
3-6 years (proceed with caution)
Similar issues with this age group as with the babies. The games start a bit too late for this crowd. And once the game is over, there is the walk back to the car. And unless you are parked in the stadium, it is a long trip home. They will absolutely love the games and the food. The afternoon games this October would definitely be better for this age group.
6 and up (Go now!)
Get your kids and their soccer teammates and go have some fun! Still a late hour for these kids, but they won’t care enough to have a meltdown. The fans are amazing, and they will love getting into the spirit of everything!