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UT Austin arena to be named Moody Center after major grant

The University of Texas at Austin has announced that its new basketball arena and events centre will be named Moody Center following a $130m (£101m/€118m) grant from the Moody Foundation.

The grant marks the single largest gift from a foundation in UT Austin’s history. Moody Foundation has previously contributed $50m to support UT Austin’s Moody College of Communication and $20m towards the renovation of the Blanton Museum of Art.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the newly-named Moody Center will be held on December 3 and the arena is expected to open in 2022. UT Austin said the grant is among the largest gifts ever made to a university for a new arena.

Ross Moody, trustee of the Moody Foundation and chairman and chief executive of National Western Life Group, said: “The Moody Center signals a new era for UT and Austin, providing fans and citizens the world-class experience they deserve in the world-class city we call home.

“The Moody Foundation has a long history with this prestigious university and this wonderful community. We couldn’t be happier to partner with UT in this transformative gift to benefit future generations of Longhorns and Texans.”

UT Austin and a group led by the Oak View Group announced plans last December to build the on-campus arena, with famous alumni Matthew McConaughey having been brought in as the ‘minister of culture’ for the project.

The university struck a 35-year agreement with the OVG group, which also includes Live Nation, C3 Presents and Hollywood star McConaughey. The deal will result in the construction of the Moody Center, which will host men’s and women’s basketball games, graduations, concerts and other events.

Moody Center will have a capacity of 10,000 and replace the 42-year-old Frank C. Erwin Jr. Center, which be demolished to accommodate future expansion of the Dell Medical School. The new arena will be expandable to 15,000 seats.

Image: UT Austin