Dancin’ on the Ceiling

  • The (relatively) new Moody Center is a terrific venue for sports and concerts.
  • It has a unique public/private operating and revenue structure.
  • And by making the Frank Irwin Center obsolete, the University of Texas can now use that space for the hospital expansion.

I wrote last week about the abomination that is the Frank Irwin Center and how excited Austinites should be that it will be torn down in favor of a new hospital. Its great news for Austinites and our skyline.

But one of the reasons that the Frank Irwin Center is expendable is because of the venue I was fortunate enough to visit this week – the new Moody Center in Austin. It is a great venue that hosts a mix of different events. And that’s what we are going to talk about this week.

The Moody Center Has Been a Welcome Addition

In April of 2022, the Moody Center officially opened. It hosts a wide variety of events – including University of Texas basketball, rodeo, monster trucks, and lots of concerts. It’s a great venue right in the heart of Austin and it seats about 15,000 – with just over 10,000 for basketball.

I am very lucky. I have a very good friend who has season tickets to the Moody Center. As a result, I have been fortunate to see several concerts there. For example, just this week I saw Earth, Wind, and Fire along with Lionel Richie. It was, unsurprisingly, a terrific concert.

Earth, Wind, and Fire along with Lionel Richie

Earth, Wind, and Fire along with Lionel Richie


One of the reasons that concerts are so great there are that Moody was designed with concerts in mind. The goal was to give a feel of being at a concert hall. And I can say, as a frequent concert goer there, the sound is very good.

Moody Center has Helped Transform the Area

As I wrote last week, UT is tearing down the Frank Irwin Center to build a new hospital. That spot, though, makes a lot of sense as an expansion of the hospital because it is right next to the existing Dell Hospital. UT officials, therefore, have been eyeing the Irwin Center location for a few years now. Indeed, UT first started talking about a new arena (at least publicly) in the mid 2010s. By building the Moody Center, therefore, UT opened up more land for the expansion of the hospital.

The Moody Center has a unique owner and operating structure. UT entered into a private-public partnership with OVG to build and operate the arena. UT owns it but OVG has a 35 year management agreement to operate it. Longhorn Athletics takes all concessions, parking, and ticket revenue from UT basketball games. OVG gets 100% of the revenue from all other non-UT events.

I didn’t write this blog entry to be an advertisement to the Moody Center. Its just a very good venue and I’ve enjoyed being there when I have gone. And it shows how much can be done when we upgrade commercial buildings and create better product. Here, we were able to replace an eyesore with a beautiful and modern arena. And on the old spot, we will get an expansion of UT hospital. It’s a great benefit to our City and I encourage you to check it out if you have not yet.

Earth, Wind, and Fire along with Lionel Richie

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