The Champs Are Coming: U.S. Women’s National Team to Open Q2 Stadium
USWNT vs. Nigeria christens brand-new stadium on June 16
By Eric Goodman,
10:35AM, Thu. May 6, 2021
AT&T Stadium in Arlington opened with the dulcet tones of George Strait. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band christened the Staples Center in Los Angeles. In Austin, Q2 Stadium’s doors will open to a performance by superstars of a different sort: the U.S. women’s national soccer team.
Defending World Cup champions Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan, Julie Ertz, and co. will face Nigeria in an Olympics tune-up match on June 16 at Austin FC’s brand-new soccer-specific stadium, the club announced Thursday. The match is scheduled for an 8pm CT kickoff and will be televised nationally on ESPN2.
Q2 Stadium was originally scheduled to open three nights later for Austin FC’s June 19 home opener against the San Jose Earthquakes. Now, the Verde and Black will follow the first-ever match involving a U.S. senior national team, men or women, to take place in the Texas capital.
“We are both thrilled and honored that the first-ever match at Q2 Stadium will feature the four-time FIFA World Champions,” Austin FC President Andy Loughnane said in a statement. “Hosting the USWNT at Q2 Stadium speaks to the world-class nature of our city, our facilities, and the popularity of the sport in our region.”
During the 2019 FIFA World Cup, which concluded with the United States lifting the trophy, Austin surprised many across the country by registering the top television rating for any local U.S. market across the entire tournament, according to World Cup broadcasters FOX Sports. Since the founding of Austin FC, many fans have advocated for a National Women’s Soccer League franchise to join the Verde in Central Texas. Last month, Austin FC majority owner Anthony Precourt said the club would “actively consider” pursuing the establishment of an NWSL sister club.
The match against Nigeria in Austin, the third and final stop on a three-match Summer Series tour for Team USA, represents the last chance for new head coach Vlatko Andonovski to assess his players before naming a final squad of 18 to the Tokyo Olympics. The U.S. will take on Sweden, Australia, and New Zealand in the Olympic group stage, which begins July 21.
“We are extremely excited for U.S. Women’s National Team to play the first soccer match at Austin FC’s Q2 Stadium,” Andonovski said. “The development of Austin FC has been impressive and fun to watch, and the way the community has embraced the Club is inspiring. We can’t wait to play there and feel that energy.”
As remains the case for Austin FC’s home opener, decisions regarding maximum capacity for the USWNT match have not yet been made. Q2 Stadium, when 100% full, holds a maximum capacity of 20,500. Ticket information will be released by U.S. Soccer in the coming weeks.