Expo Center Replacement Plan

An Austin, Texas, group is pitching a plan to replace the city’s Travis County Expo Center with a 15,000-capacity arena and a 40,000-capacity outdoor facility.

East Austin District
Courtesy Austin Sports & Entertainment
– East Austin District
An artist rendering shows the proposed East Austin District complex that will feature a 15,000-capacity arena and a 40,000-capacity outdoor facility visualized by Austin Sports & Entertainment and Rodeo Austin.

 Austin Sports & Entertainment, co-founded by sports media execs Sean Foley and Andrew Nestor, teamed with Rodeo Austin are working with officials to make the East Austin District multi-use complex a reality, according to a press release.  

The complex, designed by architect groups BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group and STG Design, would include a convention space, retail, medical facilities, office space and eight courtyards.

The arena would be home to an expanded Rodeo Austin, which features about 100 live music acts during the run of the event. This year’s main stage lineup included Dwight Yoakam, Charley Pride, Elle King, Fitz And The Tantrums, Bobby Bones And The Raging Idiots, Kenny Rogers and Patti LabelleRodeo Austin owns 40 acres near the Expo and reportedly attracts about 260,000 attendees over two weeks in March.

The Expo Center houses the 8,400-capacity Luedecke Arena and 70,000-capacity outdoor park.

Foley and Nestor are ready to move forward, with investors secured

“The East Austin District represents an opportunity for Austin to combine what it needs with what it wants – community infrastructure for District 1 with world-class facilities for sports, entertainment and hospitality,” Foley and Nestor said in a statement. “We are in active discussions with leading organizations, including our partners, Rodeo Austin, as well as various corporations to serve as anchors to accelerate the vision of the Spirit of East Austin Forum.”

 Austin Mayor Steve Adler is encouraged by the plan, especially if it brings stability to the area.

 “It’s an old facility, and there is a need to update it and expand the breadth of its uses,” he told the Austin-Statesman. “We need to do things on the eastern crescent of the city. We should be investing in that part of town.”