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Austin Texans watch party 2016 (moved to new venue)

Brisco_County

Texans worthy
The Austin group is moving on from Brew Exchange, and will now meet up at Maggie Mae's.

I cannot vouch for Maggie's as a place to watch sports, only as a place to get pretty lit up on the weekends. But enough about my childhood, here's the announcement by the Austin Texans Fan Group:

We are very excited to announce that we have partnered with Maggie Mae's as the official host of the Austin Texans watch parties. Maggie Mae's has put in a lot of work and effort to partner with the Zone and the Horn to bring the best possible watch party experience for the Houston fans here in the ATX. They have poured in a lot of time and effort to bring prizes like we never had before. They will be giving away tons of merchandise, tickets to some of the games, free Rudy's BBQ, cheap drinks, and much more We will continue to have our raffle as well that we have always had on top of all the other things going on. We will be putting out more details as the come every week.

We do want to thank Brew Exchange for being an amazing host and treating our fans so well. Thank you for a great year!

Be looking for announcements and mark your calendars! Thanks in advance to Maggie Mae's for your efforts and dedication to making this happen.

Maggie Mae's the new home of the Austin Texans and the official watch party for the Houston Texans!
So there you have it. Free Rudy's barbecue.

:texflag:
 

BigWig

Bigimus Wigimus
Parking may be an issue, but maybe not too bad on Sundays for noon games.
I may make it down once but not too excited about this change for sure.
There are so many new and cool places to hang and watch games I cant believe they picked this place.
Although a game on the rooftop with nice fall weather could be a lot of fun.
 

Brisco_County

Texans worthy
I think the involvement of 1300 The Zone influenced this decision. There's obviously some cross promotion going on. But adding game tickets to the raffle is a big step up, so who knows what other perks will be involved. And Rudy's may not be the five star barbecue we're spoiled by in Austin, but it's probably the best barbecue chain out there.

Parking will be a problem, but it sucked at the Brew Exchange too.
 

powerfuldragon

Enchilada Aficionado.
I don't know what y'all Austiners are like, but I hate watching football in a bar with too many 'activities.'
 

thunderkyss

It's good to be me... again.
Staff member
Contributor's Club
I'm down for free BBQ.


I mean I'm not in Austin or anything... I'd hate to drive all that way, but Brisco said free BBQ.
 

BigWig

Bigimus Wigimus
I would be interested in hearing how it goes, especially if Texanator shows, that dude is a hoot!
 

Brisco_County

Texans worthy
In fairness to the venue and the Austin Texans fan group, I decided to share some pictures from the watch party yesterday and describe the atmosphere.

In summary: If you're fine with the larger crowd, then the change in venue and the radio promotion of it have offered significant improvement to the watch party experience. The larger crowd does not mean there's a limitation on space or seating. The venue is huge, and management was prepared to open overflow areas as needed. Since Maggie Mae's has been drastically renovated over the years, I took plenty of pictures.

I parked on 9th Street, and embarked with low expectations and a three block walk from my car. Upon entering, there's an open air plaza decorated with enough home crowd paraphernalia to offer instant comfort in what lies beyond.




The open environment of the plaza is a welcome change to the sometimes claustrophobic feel of past watch party crowds. It could also be a pleasant viewing area when the weather cools down.




A reverse shot of the plaza looking back at the entrance:




The general viewing area hosts the main party. If you're looking to get lit up and rowdy during the game, this is the section for you. The main bar is at the back.




A reverse shot of the general viewing area from the bar:

 

Brisco_County

Texans worthy
If you can't find seating in the general viewing area, there's sitting and standing room in the back bar. The venue management was quick to offer folding chairs if requested.



A reverse shot of the back bar. I and some newly acquainted fans formed the Charles James Fan Club in this section, which made special teams kicks much more enjoyable.



This section was also dog friendly, despite previous reports stating otherwise.



Before I discovered the folding chairs downstairs, I found an upstairs lounge with comfortable seating. This is one of the overflow areas that will be available if the crowd gets too large.



At halftime, the management opened this sidebar, which is intended to be more divey than the rest of the club. The staff I spoke to said they were unsure if this would always be available going forward. But if you prefer a less rowdy environment, this is worth inquiring about with the management.

 

Brisco_County

Texans worthy
The venue management delivered on accommodation, but the real success was the atmosphere. Overall, it was positive, friendly, and people were just happy to celebrate among fellow fans. No 6th Street douchbaggery or over-served loudmouths were present. The crowd was composed of both familiar faces and new, and there was an optimistic energy running through it.





I have to emphasize how attentive the management was in keeping us accommodated. A crowd this large is difficult to handle, and it did not faze the attitude of the staff.

Now to mention room for improvement: If there was any deficiency, it was the digital projector for the main screen. The lack of a vivid picture was mostly attributable to the sunlight entering the general viewing area, but an upgrade in the hardware would go a long way.

The number of TV's did offer sufficient coverage, but none were bigger than my 65" at home. The TV's and projector did not detract from the experience, but there's opportunity to improve in these areas.

Also, this is not a complaint, but the complementary barbecue from Rudy's offered one choice: Chopped beef sandwiches. Not a bad choice, and it's free, so no negatives marks there. But if anyone complains that there's no slow smoked brisket or pulled pork like in years past, then you've been spoiled and there's no saving you.

I cannot comment on drink prices right now since I typically don't drink on Sunday, but I'll be researching that next week.

The takeaway from this is that Maggie Mae's feels like it could be a permanent home for this fan group. The space and seating can be scaled to the number of attendees, and the environment is comfortable and feels nothing like douchebag central that 6th Street becomes at night. Even if this ends up not being to your liking, it's worth checking out at least once.
 

infantrycak

Admin & Mod
Was that the small or the medium dog you mentioned? Sue dwarfs that cute dog (Corgi?).

Figuring out perspective.

Sounds like things went well. Glad to hear it and sorry I had to miss with the laid up pup.
 

Brisco_County

Texans worthy
That one wasn't a Corgi, and was much smaller than what the picture conveys. I also saw a black lab puppy that was medium sized. A boxer really shouldn't raise any concern.
 

infantrycak

Admin & Mod
Well I guess we'll test the theory next weekend. Sue's suppuration is about done. Should be good to cheer the Texans against the Chiefs. Gotta get him used to loud venues.

Closer look at the picture, WTH is that dog?
 

BigWig

Bigimus Wigimus
I really appreciate your report, very nicely put. Heck I think you may have a job in journalism if you have not already tried. After all that you have described it does sound like a good fit although it almost seems a bit too commercial and has taken away from the close knit group we had from years past. But I digress , not being there it looks and feels that way , by showing up I may feel differently.
What about sound, you never really mentioned it? I do like to hear the commentaries and follow the game a little closer than just a happy hour atmosphere.
Any specials when the Texans score? verbally or with drinks?
Is anyone carrying on the " 1st down " tradition that Texanator and I started doing back in the Saxon Pub days?
Thanks again for taking the time to post what you did, it really was appreciated.
 

Brisco_County

Texans worthy
Well I guess we'll test the theory next weekend. Sue's suppuration is about done. Should be good to cheer the Texans against the Chiefs. Gotta get him used to loud venues.

Closer look at the picture, WTH is that dog?
If there's some rule on dogs that I missed, my guess is that management would let it slide considering how inclined they are to making everyone happy.

And I have no idea WTH that dog is. He was pretty chill for a little guy though.

I really appreciate your report, very nicely put. Heck I think you may have a job in journalism if you have not already tried. After all that you have described it does sound like a good fit although it almost seems a bit too commercial and has taken away from the close knit group we had from years past. But I digress , not being there it looks and feels that way , by showing up I may feel differently.
What about sound, you never really mentioned it? I do like to hear the commentaries and follow the game a little closer than just a happy hour atmosphere.
Any specials when the Texans score? verbally or with drinks?
Is anyone carrying on the " 1st down " tradition that Texanator and I started doing back in the Saxon Pub days?
Thanks again for taking the time to post what you did, it really was appreciated.
I know what you mean with the bolded statement. It's a matter of preference that will never receive 100% concurrence from everyone. People either prefer the small and cozy comradery, or they prefer bigger and festive. Either preference is perfectly valid, but more people fall into the big-and-festive category (or else there wouldn't be a crowd at all).

The sound was reasonably audible, but I didn't make a point to judge it. I have plans to bring a technical solution that will sync Mark Vandermeer's play-by-play through AM radio with the live action on TV.

There were Jello shots present, as evident in the last photo, but that was after the victory. I believe they were passed out after TD's, but I'm not sure.

The "First Down!" tradition was not exercised faithfully, but was used for celebrating meaningful first downs in the second half.
 
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BigWig

Bigimus Wigimus
If possible can you find out where I can purchase one of those semi circle Texans flags, matter of fact several they would work well on my porch rail.
 

BigWig

Bigimus Wigimus
So how has the turnout been lately?
I am looking at the Lions game possibly.
Any Texanator ( Kevin) sightings?
 

Brisco_County

Texans worthy
UPDATE: After a season of watching most games at Maggie Mae's, the experience has become even more fun than I first reported. The regular attendees are a group that I look forward to visiting each week, and the venue staff are still top notch. I am hoping that Maggie's remains the permanent home for this group.
 

Texanator

Rabid Brahma
I moved away from Austin a few years back and it is just too much of a hassle for me to make all the games anymore.
That and the fact that Paul has lied to all of us, the front office of the Texans and God knows who else, I find it difficult to look at him without smashing his teeth in.
The Texans have NEVER demanded we change venues or demanded we work with 1300.
I have a saved email which states this exactly.
Paul got mad at Lavaca street when they fired his GF and when his friend opened Brew Exchange he secretly booted me as ADMIN of the FB sight and told everyone the Texans made us move.
Now that his friend was fired from BE he had to find a new place, so he went to MM's, but it has NOTHING to do with the Texans deciding who we work with or anything remotely like that.
 


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