AUSTIN, Texas - In a matter of just hours, all Austin FC tickets for select matches, including the home opener, sold out. This happened after the football club announced they can fill every seat in the stadium for its home opener and US Women’s National Team games next month.
It's just one example of pandemic fatigue and pent-up demand, said Tom Noonan with Visit Austin. "Austin FC is a new demand generator we haven't had in the summer months before," he said.
Austin, among many other cities across the country, is seeing a rebound in tourism.
"Last weekend we had not only the NASCAR event, we had UT graduations, and I'll tell you the occupancy and hotel rates were equivalent to what we saw Memorial Day weekend 2019. We were seeing $300 rates downtown. We haven't seen that since the pandemic started," said Noonan.
Just last week, ACL weekend passes sold out rapidly.
"We knew ACL being back is great for the city. The fact that we sold out in three hours for both weekends was great. It talks about the pent-up demand that's out there," said Noonan.
The Austin Convention Center is also now open for business. Noonan believes companies in other states that may still have a few restrictions will take a closer look at Austin.
"Some of the states were still pulling back but places like Texas and Florida were a little more open but some groups said we have to move to Texas for our meeting we have this full so we know we can have 100 percent capacity. There are enough people out there vaccinated and the numbers are dropping, and you can now gather safely," said Noonan.
The hospitality industry is the third-largest employer in Austin, according to the Austin Chamber of Commerce. Noonan hopes to see job restoration this summer and into the fall.