North stands (from NE corner)

I went yesterday with a couple of Eberly’s Army buddies to catch the San Antonio Scorpions 2013 home opener, the inaugural game in the brand new Toyota Field stadium. We joined the Crocketteers supporters at both the pregame tailgate and in the stands. Aside from the home team winding up on the wrong end of the 2-0 scoreline, it was a great evening.

Following are some assorted thoughts and observations. I also took some pictures; see them in this Flickr set (this stadium map will help orient specific locations).

  • The number of people at the tailgate was phenomenal. The support they have already for this team is amazing.
  • The new stadium is bigger and nicer than I expected. I really like it. It has an interesting design and a very comfortable feel.
  • They sell beer at the stadium! This has come to feel like the holy grail of soccer games, at least to us in Austin, where games are played at a high school stadium where beer sales are prohibited. But here’s the thing: it was all crappy mass-market stuff, Coors Light et al. I guess I’ve become a real beer snob, because although I drank it last night, it honestly made me wonder if that watery dreck is worth all the fuss.
  • The supporters section was good, full and in full voice. They’re led by not one, but two, capos, who worked tirelessly all night to keep the fans loud.
  • One chant the supporters had was the “I believe… I believe that…” call and response. The chant ended sometimes with the “we will score” or the “we will win” that I’ve heard, but sometimes in just, “Scorpions!”. Over-thinking this last had the three of us cracking up every time the “I believe in Scorpions” chant came along. Yes, we sure do believe in them, why wouldn’t we, the existence of these arthropods has been conclusively proven, it doesn’t take all that much faith. :-P
  • My favorite chant was struck up during the introduction of the opposing players before the game: “You … may all … go to hell … I … will go … to TEXAS” (an homage, of course, to the famous Davy Crockett quote).
  • For all the impressiveness of the supporters’ presence, it cracked me up to overhear more than one person call them “booster clubs”.
  • What a great bargain these games are. Tickets start at $10, and parking is free. Even if you have a Miller Lite or four, that’s still not too expensive.
  • When you go, don’t hit up the traditional concessions until after you head down to check out the row of food trucks behind the north stands.
  • We couldn’t cheer for him out loud, but it was good to see former Aztex fan favorite Jay Needham putting in his usual solid work in defense for the Rowdies.

Conclusion: two enthusiastic thumbs up for the Scorpions gameday experience. Aztex games at House Park are great, but I look forward to the day when we have this kind of environment here in Austin, too.