The Moody Center, which will hold 10,000 fans for basketball with the ability to expand to 15,000 for other events, is scheduled to open in 2022.
The university cleared the final governmental hurdle Nov. 14 when the UT Board of Regents voted to approve the university's $38.5 million project to realign Red River Street around the new arena.
The project will straighten out Red River Street through the east end of the UT campus, connecting the pieces of Red River north of Dean Keeton Street and south of Martin Luther King Boulevard. Currently, Red River Street bends toward I-35 in that area around the LBJ Presidential Library and the Mike A. Myers Stadium and Soccer Field. The new arena is set to be built just south of the soccer stadium in an area that is now a surface parking lot.
On Nov. 9, UT announced the arena would be named the Moody Center after the Moody Foundation awarded a $130 million grant to the university. A UT media release said the grant was the single largest gift from a foundation in the university’s history. The foundation previously contributed $50 million to support the Moody College of Communication.
The Moody Foundation was established in 1942 by William Lewis Moody Jr. and Libbie Shearn Moody, according to its website, and has awarded more than $1.5 billion in grants since. According to UT, it is the largest philanthropic foundation in the state.
In September, the city of Austin authorized an agreement with UT to allow the road project, which will be funded by the university, despite some concerns from Austin City Council members who felt the city did not receive as many benefits as it should have for expediting the deal.
“While I support moving forward with the stadium and the alignment, we still have a fiscal responsibility to our community to make sure we are capturing those community benefits. We do not have an obligation to underwrite this [arena],” District 10 Council Member Alison Alter said at the time.