Austin FC representatives and officials from Austin and Travis County said local progress with COVID-19 vaccinations and reduced viral spread had made the announcement possible.
"This is a monumental moment for Austin and for Q2 Stadium. It's representative of the trajectory that the city has moved towards, and we as a community have helped build up to that," Austin FC President Andy Loughnane said at a news conference.
At full capacity, Q2 Stadium can hold around 22,600 people. In line with APH's recommendations for large events exceeding capacity of 2,500 people, the stadium will require attendees to wear masks. Proof of vaccination will not be required to enter, although Travis County staff, including County Judge Andy Brown, will offer coronavirus vaccines to anyone in attendance who wants one at the home opener.
"I'm happy to hear that Austin FC is helping out with that. All of their coaches, all of their players, are already vaccinated, and what a great example, what great role models for young people who look at sports teams and coaching staff as an indicator of what they should be doing," said Mark Escott, Austin-Travis County interim health authority.
Escott said no plans are in place to require COVID-19 testing or screening prior to admittance to matches.
Tickets for the first six home matches of the year, held between mid-June and the end of July, will go on sale May 26 to those on the season ticket waitlist and May 27 to the general public.
"Today we get to celebrate coming out of a year of just horrendous events and a horrendous time," Austin Mayor Steve Adler said. "What you learn is that a community that sticks together, that disciplines itself, that wears masks as it's supposed to, that gets vaccinated at the numbers that we're getting vaccinated, there is benefit and normalcy that comes to a community that does that."