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First look: $338 million Moody Center prepares to open its doors

(Sara Hoing)

The long-awaited Moody Center is just hours away from its ribbon-cutting, starring Austin’s own Matthew McConaughey, before opening its doors for its inaugural John Mayer concert on Wednesday.

The $338 million project will have its official ‘Strait from Moody Center’ grand opening, a Texas-sized concert with sets from George Strait, Willie Nelson & Family and the Randy Rogers Band on April 29-30.

The layout of the arena can be customized to the musician or the event. (Laura Figi/Austonia)

With 530,000 square feet and glass walls circling the perimeter, the venue can seat 15,000 and offers a lot more natural light and local touches than its predecessor, the Frank Erwin Center. In fact, over 100 local companies were tapped to build the venue.

Ticketholders will be assigned a portal near their seats on their tickets, each of which is named after a Texas-born musician like Gary Clark Jr. (Laura Figi/Austonia)

The local focus continues to the concession stand—Stubb’s Bar-B-Q, Tony C’s and Tito’s Handmade Vodka are all on the menu along with some wildcards like Shaquille O’Neal’s Big Chicken. Don't forget the Moody Center is a cashless venue!

Big Chicken also has a collaboration with Stubb's on the menu. (Laura Figi/Austonia)

Around each corner is a mural, painted by an Austin-based artist.

Painted by Ryan Runcie, this mural showcases both the city's love for music and Longhorn spirit. (Laura Figi/Austonia)

In addition to hosting concerts and events, the Moody Center will also be home to men’s and women’s basketball at The University of Texas at Austin. Sports lovers might want to get a spot in the private Germania Insurance Club, which has windows looking into the starting tunnel.

The Indeed Club will have Texans feeling right at home and offer phenomenal views of the game. (Laura Figi/Austonia)

Altogether, there are four suites, nearly 2,000 club seats, 3 premium clubs, 57 loge boxes, and 1 super VIP club: the Moët & Chandon Impérial Lounge. Club membership is currently sold out but keep an eye out for future seasons.

Heading upstairs, the deck is open to everyone and holds beautiful panoramic views of the entire city, from the Frost Bank tower to the Capitol to the UT campus.

Anyone can visit the deck for a beer. (Laura Figi/Austonia)

2022 is going to be a big year for the new building as Bon Jovi, Justin Bieber, The Who, Eagles, Machine Gun Kelly, Florence + The Machine, James Taylor, Leon Bridges, Shawn Mendes and more are scheduled to play at the venue this year.


Pickleball gold rush links LeBron with Austin and a network of local investors like Brené Brown

King James

It's not on the level of LeBron signing with the Spurs, but who knows, maybe you'll see him at Guero's one day, having a Rob's Especial marg and a No. 1 dinner?

LeBron James, Draymond Green, Kevin Love, LeBron's business partner Maverick Carter, and a bunch of other sports-related investors are buying a Major League Pickleball expansion franchise.

Oddly, MLP teams aren't associated with places, so at this point it's just "an expansion team."

But Major League Pickelball is based in Austin, created, according to the Austin Business Journal, by Dreamland and Richard's Rainwater owner Steve Kuhn.

League investors include familiar Austin names like C3 Presents founders Charles Attal and Charlie Walker, Parsley Energy founder and partial Austin FC owner Brian Sheffield, Silicon Labs Chairman Nav Sooch, and pickleball enthusiast Brené Brown.

Fall camping: Camp Fimfo Waco offers one-of-a-kind experiences in the heart of Texas
Camp Fimfo Waco

Camp Fimfo Waco, a brand new camping resort, is kicking off football and fall camping season in style! With top-notch amenities, premium accommodations, and 10 weekends of fall fun, there’s no better place to have a fall camping getaway, especially if you’re a Baylor football fan!

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