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University of Texas to build new arena

The University of Texas at Austin (UT) has unveiled plans to build a world-class arena on campus that will be home to Texas men’s and women’s basketball games, graduations, concerts and other events.

An innovative 35-year agreement between UT and ArenaCo — which includes Oak View Group, Live Nation, C3 Presents and actor Matthew McConaughey — will be groundbreaking in college athletics and provide a public benefit for UT and the City of Austin for decades to come.

The $338 million venue will be constructed on land fully owned by UT without using any university or public money.

The arena will be located on a current parking lot south of Mike A. Myers Stadium. It will replace the 41-year-old Frank C. Erwin Center, which will make way for the future expansion of the Dell Medical School.

UT may be responsible for certain infrastructure improvements near the site to make it ready for construction. It is expected to be opened in 2021.

UT Austin President Gregory L. Fenves said:

UT’s historic agreement with this highly regarded company will result in a modern arena on campus for our students, alumni, supporters and the Austin community. The arena will provide for an unforgettable UT basketball experience and represent the best of our university.

The 10,000-seat arena will provide an intimate, state-of-the-art men’s and women’s Longhorn basketball fan experience and feature student seating surrounding the court. Much like how the Erwin Center currently operates, the new venue will be a prime location for university, campus, community and high school events.

Additionally, the new arena is designed to expand to 15,000 seats and will provide a world-class venue for touring concerts and shows.

UT Vice President and Athletics Director Chris Del Conte said:

This is a truly wonderful opportunity for The University of Texas, our basketball programs and the City of Austin.

We’re building one of the nation’s finest arenas that will provide an awesome home court advantage for our men’s and women’s basketball programs. The 10,000-seat facility will bring our fans and students close to the action and provide an exciting and engaging game day experience. On top of that, it will have the capacity to expand to 15,000 when needed and be a big-time concert venue that draws premier performers to our great city.

Austin-based Academy Award winner Matthew McConaughey will act as the “Minister of Culture” at the venue, ensuring that Longhorn and Austin cultures are front and centre and helping create a fan experience unlike any other.

McConaughey, a 1993 UT Austin graduate, added:

It’s time to raise the bar. It’s time to excel, on the court and in the stands. It’s time for an authentic home court advantage for our Longhorn basketball teams. It’s time for a choice experience for our fans. It’s time to be a preferred venue for headliners from across the globe. It’s time for quality, success, and victories for the Longhorns and for Austin. It’s time for the big show. It’s time. Hook ’em.

Images courtesy of Gensler Sports.