The University of Texas at Austin Moody Center


The University of Texas System Office of Facilities Planning & Construction


Construction Cost: $375,000,000

Completion Date: April 2022

Project Size: 530,000 SF

The University of Texas at Austin Moody Center


More than 40 years ago, Walter P Moore was the structural engineer for University of Texas’s (UT) arena, the Frank C. Erwin Center. Aging and in prime real estate for the expansion of the Dell Medical School, the University decided it was time to bid farewell to this iconic structure. Central to fellow UT sports facilities, in a parking lot just south of Mike A. Myers Stadium, the new Moody Center has been erected. While creating a new home for UT’s men’s and women’s basketball programs was the impetus for the project, UT project partner OVG also created a world-class entertainment venue that will make Austin a major destination for touring shows.

The Moody Center site presented a significant structural challenge due to site slopes up to 50 feet moving from west to east. A deep retention system with heights up to 70 feet was utilized, unprecedented for an arena structure. With much of the arena underground, a concrete frame forms the primary structure of the arena, daylighting at the upper concourse at the east side and the main concourse at the west side. Around the perimeter of the building the long-span steel roof cantilevers up to 75 feet beyond the building edge, creating shaded entry spaces for the warm Austin climate. The cantilever roof floats above an extensive glass curtain wall. Inside the building, the advanced roof structure supports an extensive set of amenities designed to make the building exceptionally flexible for a variety of events: a central retractable video board, a 250,000-lb. show rigging grid including an extensive tension wire rigging platform, and a one-of-its kind operable upper bowl closure screen designed to convert the venue from a full 15,000 seats to an intimate smaller 10,000 seat configuration. Walter P Moore also designed the arena bowl precast seating units to accommodate an efficient under-seat air distribution system that will help make the Moody Center one of the most sustainable arenas in the U.S.