Photo: Tony Avelar, AP
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Austin, Texas, lives in the minds of many Bay Area residents as an emerging metropolitan paradise. With its growing tech industry and lively arts scene, Austin seems to offer all the trappings of big city living without the hefty price tag.
But, of course, locals from the Lone Star State are not too happy with Austin’s status as the next trendy place to live, especially not the city’s soccer team, apparently.
On Thursday, a snarky scuffle unfolded on Twitter between Austin FC and the San Jose Earthquakes. In a tweet, Austin FC posted a screenshot of the Quakes following the account and wrote, “Welcome to Austin, please don’t move here.”
Welcome to Austin, please don’t move here.😊 pic.twitter.com/YvwcopUQaa
— Austin FC (@AustinFC) July 18, 2019
Austin FC’s message echoes long-standing frustrations among Austin residents. The phrase is so popular that it can be seen around the city on T-shirts and bumper stickers — particularly when out-of-towners swarm the city during SXSW, the annual festival that celebrates the interactive, film, and music industries.
Although one may expect a little more southern hospitality from the Texas soccer team, Austin FC’s tweet isn’t so baseless. According to data from the U.S. census, Austin’s population is at 960,000 residents, which is a population increase of 20.2 percent from 2010 to 2018. In an analysis by Austin Chamber, California transplants make up the largest portion (6.4 percent) of the out-of-state influx.
The kicker? Austin FC wasn’t initially planned for Austin. Originally, the team was intended as a relocation. Columbus Crew SC was supposed to move from Ohio to Austin, becoming the city’s first Major League Soccer team. Public outcry and legal action blocked the relocation, ultimately prompting MLS to grant the Texas capital its own team.
Welcome to @MLS.
Happy you didn’t take anyone’s team away from their city. https://t.co/U7s0CggTKo
— San Jose Earthquakes (@SJEarthquakes) July 18, 2019
The Earthquakes were quick to point out this fact and clapback at Austin FC. The Bay Area team replied, “Hey. Welcome to @MLS. Happy you didn’t take anyone’s team away from their city.”
The Quakes’ diss scored major points among many soccer fans. One Twitter user declared, “San Jose became my favorite west coast team after this tweet!”
Although this is a big Internet win for the Quakes, it will be a long time before fans are able to see the two teams go head-to-head on the field. Austin FC won’t play its first game until 2021. Until then, Twitter battles will have to make do.
Nikki Tran is an SFGATE intern. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Bay-Area-exodus-Austin-soccer-stay-away-Twitter-14109531.php.