AUSTIN, Texas (KXAN) — Austin’s pro soccer team is responding to fierce criticism after several residents noticed the team’s stadium kept its lights on while thousands of Texans were without power during biting cold temperatures.
In a statement on Tuesday, Austin FC explained the lights being on — while residents were being asked to conserve power — was due to an automated timer for the stadium’s overhead LED lights.
These lights, Austin FC says, must be disconnected by a licensed electrician — which was increasingly difficult to get as icy road conditions made travel dangerous on Sunday and Monday.
“Austin FC and our construction team are very sorry that this work has not been able to be safely performed as of yet as we recognize this is a very difficult time for our region,” the organization said.
Austin FC says technicians will attempt to disconnect the lighting as soon as is possible and safe.
As of Tuesday, at least 3 million Texans are without power. Texas Governor Greg Abbot announced he would be calling for an investigation into the state’s electric grid operator after days of power outages across the state.
The Associated Press and NewsNation affiliate KXAN contributed to this report.