The $338 million project is jointly financed by the University of Texas and sports and entertainment companies Oak View Group, Live Nation and C3 Presents—as well as actor and UT professor and alumnus Matthew McConaughey, who was "intimately involved" with design concepts for the venue, according to the Moody Center.
On a tour of the project, representatives for the Moody Center said the venue will include features that create a "warm, intimate" feel for smaller events, in addition to arena-sized concerts.
"One of the biggest things we focused on with this design was to represent Austin in its casual lifestyle, culture and connection to the outdoors," said Laura Brodersen, an architect with Gensler, the firm that designed the center.
The 15,000-seat venue's top level will be enclosed in glass, offering a 360-degree view of the city, and will include a terrace. Other features of the arena were influenced by health and safety lessons from the coronavirus pandemic, including the Moody Center's HVAC system, which will circulate air at the individual seat level, rather than from the top of the area—a design that keeps fresh air in circulation and saves on energy costs, Broderson said.
Premium seating will be available in several club suites, but Brodersen said the arena's design was intended to offer "a truly magnificent experience for anybody who comes, no matter what ticket level."
Memberships for club seats go on sale April 29, and one large concert is already on the schedule: The Weeknd will perform at the Moody Center as a stop on his "After Hours" tour on April 18, 2022.
The exterior elements of the arena are scheduled to be completed six months prior to the Moody Center's opening, according to Dan Vaillant, Vice President for CAA Icon, which managed development of the project. Vaillant said he is confident in the project's opening timeline, although construction has faced challenges in the past year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
"It's been a challenge—from keeping workers healthy to getting materials on site . . . The Tesla plant down South is gobbling up a lot of materials as well," he said. "It's a race, but we're getting there."