AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin FC’s Q2 Stadium is more green than you might think, and we’re not talking about their jerseys or the grass on the pitch.

“We have to be thinking like the rest of the community thinks,” Austin FC President Andy Loughnane said.

That thought was the basis for designing the home of Austin FC.

Q2 and its surroundings were designed with sustainability in mind earning the stadium Gold LEED certification, which is a green building rating system and gold-certified is the second-highest level attainable.

Some of these green initiatives are literally green, like the eight acres of green space at the northeast end of the stadium used as a park for yoga and outdoor music.

As we reported in November 2021, TBG Partners in Austin did the landscape architecture at Q2 Stadium.

There are multiple EV charging stations near the Zebra gate, with the ability to add more as the need rises.

Others initiatives are harder to see, like these 140 solar panels just outside the stadium. The power they generate is then sent to the grid to be used by electricity consumers like you and me.

Q2 Stadium was the only MLS stadium introduced last year to feature solar power — a fact Loughnane is proud of.

“We’ve tried to design a stadium that is very, literally, it’s climate-friendly, doesn’t require a lot of energy usage doesn’t require a lot of air conditioners,” Loughnane said.

Before shovels were in the ground they worked with Gensler Architects to make the stadium design work smarter and not harder.

“We oriented the stadium in such a way that we’re taking advantage of prevailing winds and do some strategic opening up of buildings at corners. We’re able to capture breezes…even on the hottest day. It’s very comfortable,” said Darien Ligarde, project architect for Gensler.

As to what’s next when it comes to going green at Q2?

Loughnane told KXAN “we will continuously think through our improvement of operations, but over the course of time who knows what will happen, but I know this…we will commit to a sustainable operation here at Q2 Stadium.”

New for 2022

Beginning this season you can bring in an empty 30-ounce water bottle and fill it up with free water at the stadium, eliminating the need for single-use plastic bottles.