Groundbreaking Set Today For UT’s Moody Center

Courtesy OVG
– UT Moody Center

The University of Texas is set to break ground today on Moody Center, the school’s new $338 million arena.
The privately funded 15,000-seat venue is a partnership between the Big 12 institution, concert promoters Live Nation and Austin-based C3 Presents, and facility developer Oak View Group, which owns Pollstar and VenuesNow
“The University of Texas is one of the most important and largest universities in the world. Our partnership with President Fenves, Athletic Director Del Conte and the entire university is a new vision and a new standard on a private-public partnership that will create a world-class venue for the Longhorns and for Austin,” Tim Leiweke, CEO of Oak View Group, said in a statement. “This partnership has brought together one of the most recognized universities and brands, the Longhorns, with the world’s leader in content, Live Nation, and the world’s largest developer of new arenas, OVG, with Matthew McConaughey. Those partners will create one of the greatest arenas in the world and become the heart and soul for the campus and Austin.”
In addition, actor and Texas alum Matthew McConaughey is serving as a project consultant. His title is “minister of culture” with input on facility design to help create a strong connection between the university and the city of Austin.
“As a proud alumnus and professor at UT, I’m honored, now as Minister of Culture, to convey what a special place the university and the city of Austin are through the design and hospitality of the new Moody Center,” McConaughey said in a statement. “It should be the first place the biggest bands in the world want to play, but the last place a visiting basketball team wants to play.”
Gensler, an international architecture firm, is designing Moody Center and AECOM Hunt is building it. For Gensler, it’s the second sports venue the firm is designing in town, behind a new MLS stadium for FC Austin.
CAA Icon is the owner’s representative. Moody Center is set to open in early 2022, according to project officials. It replaces Frank Erwin Center, Texas’ 42-year-old arena. 
The new facility is the future home of Texas men’s and women’s basketball, plus concerts, graduations and other community events.
Early in the development, officials are planning 44 suites, 50 loge boxes and more than 2,000 club seats tied to four lounges in the building, said Ryan Coyle, OVG’s vice president of premium sales. OVG will have a sales team working at a preview center in downtown Austin, including director of sales Matt Franz. Coyle and Franz both worked at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.
The arena’s capacity has decreased from the initial estimate of 17,000 seats, due to a “more thoughtful and expansive approach to premium offerings,” said Francesca Bodie, OVG’s president of business development.
In November, the University of Texas announced the arena’s naming rights were acquired for $130 million by the Moody Foundation, the largest philanthropic group in the state of Texas. Elsewhere on campus, Moody has its name on the school’s Moody College of Communication. 
Moody Center is the second college basketball arena in Texas with naming rights tied to the Moody family and its philanthropic interests. In Dallas, SMU’s Moody Coliseum is named for William Lewis Moody Jr., a banker who set up the Moody Foundation in 1942. Moody died in 1954.