Sports Business Journal (SBJ) this week announced Austin FC as a nominee for Sports Team of the Year 2022, an award that recognizes best-in-class organizations that demonstrate excellence, influence, innovation and creativity in the business practices of operating a sports franchise.

“It is a great honor for our club to be among those considered best in class in the major league sports community,” said Andy Loughnane, president of Austin FC. “This nomination is a testament to the strength of our community and deserved recognition for those who have worked tirelessly to help grow Austin FC.”

Austin FC is the only Major League Soccer club to be nominated for SBJ’s 2022 Sports Team of the Year award and is one of six overall nominees alongside the Golden State Warriors and Milwaukee Bucks of the NBA, the Atlanta Braves of the MLB, the Los Angeles Rams of the NFL, and the Tampa Bay Lightning of the NHL. Four (4) of the six (6) nominated teams won their respective championships in their final season (Braves, Bucks, Lightning and Rams).

Prior to the start of the 2021 season, Austin FC completed construction of two new state-of-the-art venues, including one of North America’s premier soccer venues at Q2 Stadium at a cost of $260 million. . In recognition of its commitment to sustainability, Q2 Stadium achieved LEED Gold certification in November 2021 and was the recipient of the 2021 Venues Now All-Star Venue Award.

In addition, the club also completed construction of the St. David’s Performance Center, a 23-acre, $45 million privately funded complex that is now the training facility for Austin FC’s first team and teams. from the Austin FC Academy. The St. David’s Performance Center comprises four large pitches, a one-story 30,000 square foot building that houses Austin FC players, football operations and technical staff and Academy players, as well as training and medical technologies, including cardio and physiotherapy equipment, recovery rooms, hydrotherapy and cryogenics.

Austin FC and Q2 Stadium quickly made their presence felt after launching in 2021, hosting four (4) international matches, including appearances by the US Women’s National Team, US Men’s National Team and National Team Mexican men, all in a single calendar year. .

Austin FC were the only club in MLS to sell 100% of their games in 2021, a streak that continued through 2022 and remains the longest active selling streak in MLS.

In addition to having the highest social media engagement rate of any team in North America’s top five sports leagues, Austin FC also led MLS in merchandise sales and ranked second. in sponsorship sales in 2021. A credit to the world-class fan experience on display at Q2 Stadium, the venue has been rated by the MLS Players Association as the second-best stadium atmosphere in MLS. Supporting this sentiment, Austin FC’s season tickets were renewed at a 96% rate in 2022.

Through the club’s charitable wing 4ATX Foundation, Austin FC has partnered with Austin Pets Alive! feature dogs for adoption as honorary mascots at every home game throughout the 2021 season. 18 of the 18 dogs have been adopted and found forever homes through the partnership. In addition to raising $829,537 for community initiatives through the “A Night in Verde” gala, the 4ATX Foundation also installed a new, state-of-the-art mini soccer field in Civitan Neighborhood Park in the East End neighborhood of Austin to Montopolis. The Civitan Park mini-field is the third of its kind that the 4ATX Foundation has helped install in the greater Austin area since 2019.

One of the industry’s most prestigious awards, the Team of the Year winner will be determined by a panel of judges, including sports industry executives and representatives from the Sports Business Journal. Voting results will be announced at the Sports Business Awards in New York on Wednesday, May 18.