The University of Texas Moody Center is finally set to open this week

A key element for the basketball is a set of acoustic panels in the ceiling which will be lowered to obscure the upper levelArnold Wells/Austin Business Journal

The Univ. of Texas’ Moody Center is set to open tomorrow with a John Mayer concert, and Oak View Group’s latest project focuses on “its pure newness,” according to Peter Blackstock of the AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN. The Moody Center “does not sell paper tickets or cash.” All tickets will be “sent electronically and presented via mobile device for entry”. A key feature for basketball is a “set of acoustic panels in the ceiling that will be lowered to obscure the upper level”, creating a “more intimate venue with a capacity of 10,000 for UT teams” . OVG CEO Tim Leiweke “gives a lot of credit” to UT AD Chris Del Conte for his “oversight and leadership in the creation of the Moody Center.” Leiweke said: “Without Chris, we would never have succeeded in this partnership, because it is too hard and too complicated. You need to understand, ‘How can I protect the best interests of the athletic department? How can I protect the best interests of private investors? How the hell can we spend nearly $400 million and then donate the arena to the university?'” (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 4/19).

CONTRACT DETAILS: In Austin, Brian Davis notes that the arena contract between UT and OVG “lays bare an undeniable fact: UT officials control the building and revenue on college event days” and OVG “controls all days of its events”. UT “owns the building and the land below”, while OVG “will manage the facility under a 35-year agreement with a five-year option”. All revenue from tickets, parking, concessions, and merchandise “goes to UT on Longhorns game days,” and the school “sets ticket prices and even the costs of hot dogs and pop- corn”. But the contract states that OVG “controls costs and ticket prices on concert days, which means costs could be different.” UT also gets 20% of “all revenue generated from sequels, regardless of the event – sort of a financial boost that will drag the bottom line.” The contract outlines how OVG and its investors “plan to recoup their investment.” OVG can “sign eight permanent, UT-approved sponsors who will have prominent signage throughout the building.” The company also gets “March through October scheduling priority for concerts and other events.” What is “unclear is how many events the OVG can fit into the schedule while working around the UT basketball schedule” (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 4/19).

IN THE MOOD: In Austin, Justin Sayers notes that OVG has “already sold 170,000 tickets, representing over $23 million, and nearly all of their advertised concerts are sold out.” All premium seating and suite licenses “are sold out: there are 44 suites, 40 four-person boxes and 2,000 club seats in the lower bowl, with premium seating licenses ranging from $2,000 to over $350,000. $” (BIZJOURNALS.com, 4/19).

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