Q2 Stadium Makes History in Austin

23 June 2021
Cover image © Austin FC

View the full article written in Panstadia & Arena Management 2nd Quarter, 2021.


Walter P Moore engineers Mark Waggoner and Jeff Nixon partner with PanStadia & Arena Management to celebrate Q2 Stadium, the first stadium built for a professional sports team in Austin, Texas. 

Structural engineering was carried out by Walter P Moore. Principal Mark Waggoner told PS&AM: “One of the biggest things about this particular job was that from design to completing construction it was one of the fastest jobs we’ve ever done.

“One of the big drivers on the schedule and the reason we had to be done by August last year, was to get the grass growing. The assembly of the roof and everything had to be done using cranes on the field. We had to clear those out of the way so they could get the grass seeded and established in the fall before the growing season kicked in the spring.” 

Jeff Nixon, principal Walter P Moore, said that the stadium construction was essentially four different buildings that were all integrated to support the roof. “It was a tight budget, so we had to really find some unique ways to support the largest roof in MLS,” he said.

The roof is a cable supported structure and complies to FIFA standards where every seat is covered from the drip line. It is supported by four 110ft tall super columns.

Waggoner added: “One of the big challenges we have on MLS jobs is that the revenue model means that the stadium has to be quite budget conscious. There are a lot of things that we have to do to try to keep the costs under control. We were able to build a lot of the lower seating bowl on grade, which is very inexpensive construction.”

The cable-structure of the roof also meant less steel was used in construction, helping to lower costs. Waggoner said Walter P Moore helped create a connected BIM model that was handed off to fabricator Irwin Steel in order to support the steel fabrication schedule.

Nixon added: “That process really saved months because there’s usually a handover and they have to go and build it, but it was also very collaborative. Austin Commercial the contractor got on board with this very early in the process.

“One of the stories I would say about this whole project was the collaboration between the contractor, Gensler and us. Hand in hand, everyone knew what was going on, from the roof to the foundations to architecture. That was one of the really big things that made this project successful.”

Waggoner added: “The roof makes all the difference in terms of the shade that you get and some of the breezes that are created in terms of keeping you comfortable and wanting to be in the stands. The stadium is pretty open at the corners of the building and the back of the bowl so there’s a pathway for breezes to flow in and around the stadium.”

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