Moody Center will be home to Texas Longhorns basketball as well as a new stop for concerts. (Courtesy OVG)

Planned premium: 44 suites, 50 loge boxes and 2,000-plus club seats

The University of Texas officially broke ground this week on Moody Center, the school’s new $338 million arena. A ceremony was held Tuesday (Dec. 3) to mark the occasion.

The 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 VenuesNow magazine. 

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.

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. Suites start at $300,000 annually with terms of seven to 10 years, Coyle said.

OVG will have a sales team working at a preview center in downtown Austin, including director of sales Matt Franz. Coyle and Franz both came from Little Caesars Arena in Detroit.

They’ll start selling suites in March, followed by club seats and loges. There will be concert-only premium seat packages available for an arena officials expect to be among North America’s top venues for live shows, Coyle said.

Moody Center’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.

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. 

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.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated since it was originally posted.