Stadium Survey Results
Or, How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Tacos and Barbecue
A few weeks ago, we lit up a klaxxon asking for stadium feedback that we could take to the Austin FC front office. 318 of you responded, which, frankly, is a lot.
Shane Castella, our VP of Matchday Experiences, learned much about being a pollster. Among those is that allowing a free-response section to questions takes a lot of work to convert into actionable feedback, and that forgetting rideshare as an option for transit is a very, very bad idea.
Protip: a Supporters Group in the Silicon Hills probably has someone who can write Python to automate a lot of that work. Double protip: he may even be your SG president.
Before we get started, a few caveats. First, this was an unscientific survey on so many levels. This survey was open to everyone, but came from our communications channel, so it may be a somewhat accurate representation of Austin Anthem supporters, it is not as accurate for Austin FC fans as a whole.
This is a summary of the hot areas we think you’ll find interesting — the club has the full results of the survey.
This survey may have been intended for Austin Anthem supporters, but it would be hard to discern the soccer fanatics from the urbanists.
A full 38% of respondents said they would be taking public transit to the stadium, with 32% saying they would carpool. A mere 7% of respondents said they would be driving their car, solo, on matchdays — the same percentage who said they’d be walking to the site.
Now might be a time to go hit up Capital Metro and let them know that we’re coming, and that half mile walk to Kramer Station can be eliminated with that new rail station at McKalla.
We covered two different areas for prematch — when and where. The results were somewhat predictable, given the audience.
52% of respondents said they’d be at the stadium about an hour before kickoff, followed by 31% who said they’d be there more than two hours early. The remaining 18% like to live on the edge and expect to be there about 30 minutes before the whistle blows.
As to where everyone expects to be before the match, some good news for local breweries. 85 people who took the survey said they would be partaking in pregame festivities at a nearby brewery, with a further 50 planning on being at a nearby bar. 63 expect to be pregaming at a stadium tailgate, and 29 plan on being wherever Austin Anthem will be.
Not entirely surprising if you’ve ever been to a college football tailgate or attended a soccer function in this city.
There were several questions related to the in-stadium experience.
To the surprise of nobody, 58% of folks expect to be standing with us in the supporters section through the match. Of course, this is a supporters group, so we’d certainly expect a majority of folks to be ready to stand shoulder-to-shoulder for 90 minutes. The 42% of people who would prefer other sections in the stadium are absolutely valuable members of the Austin FC home field advantage, and their preference to be elsewhere in the stadium does not diminish their importance to our SG.
To the most important question on the entire poll, 65% of y’all said we should have a swimming pool in our section, while only 35% said absolutely. Could go either way with this one, though apparently adding 100 tons of weight to a building requires some sort of “structural support.”
Here’s an important question, though: would you trade a queso fountain for an in-stadium pool?
Food & Beverages
We’ll be frank. It seems people like alcohol. Mostly beer, since 243 folks said they’d need to see some sort of beer, significantly ahead of the paltry 68 who needed some form of coffee to sustain their existence on matchday.
Good news then: the club has consistently promised beer at the stadium, and even hinted towards local.
Interestingly enough, more respondents explicitly mentioned cold brew coffee than your standard hot coffee. Though, perhaps it’s not that interesting, given the Texas heat.
As far as food items are concerned, we’ll let you take a single guess at the top two items on the demand list.
You were right. It was tacos and barbecue. 202 folks said tacos, and 155 heroes said barbecue. These were so far ahead of the pack that the next contender, the stadium staple hot dog, may well have been relegated to a Houston concession stand with 44 votes.
Among the beverage brands called out for representation include pretty much every Austin brewery, three different types of sparkling water, and some heavy hitters in the vodka world. The story on the food side of the poll is very similar, including a lot of taco churches, barbecue joints, and burger restaurants. Nearly all of the brands for food and beverages are local, in true Austin fashion.
We don’t want to say we live up to the caricature of Austin, buuuuuuuuuut, basically all these survey results line up with the very popular identity of our city. Austin Anthem members want beer at the stadium, demand it has tacos and barbecue, and would prefer for it to be a local company’s product. And we would much prefer to have either a Capital Metro driver take us to and from the match than sit in traffic ourselves.
What can we say? We’re creatures of habit.
Austin Anthem is the independent supporters group for Austin FC, the Major League Soccer club of Austin, Texas.
For more information, visit us online at AustinAnthem.org