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Dell Technologies named ‘Premier Founding Partner’ of Texas’ new Moody Center arena

Dell Technologies Plaza, seen here in an artist rendering, will be a key area for people to meet before Texas basketball games or concerts.

Matthew McConaughey has a simple vision for the new Moody Center.

“It should be the first place that a world-class band should want to come play,” McConaughey said, “and the last place that visiting basketball teams want to come play.”

Oak View Group officials are busy lining up events for the new venue, expected to open in April 2022. And Texas officials are busy mapping out men’s and women’s basketball games for the 2022-23 season. Dell Technologies wants to be in the middle of it all, too. 

Dell Technologies will be labeled the “Premier Founding Partner” of the Moody Center, a partnership that matches one of the city’s most famous companies with a venue that’ll be an Austin hub for generations to come.

For its undisclosed gift, Dell will have a “significant naming opportunity” in and around the arena, Texas athletic director Chris Del Conte said. The new arena is a healthy walk from Dobie Center, the high-rise dormitory where Michael Dell launched his company in 1984.

Dell Technologies Plaza is expected to be an open area where fans meet before games or events. There is also expected to be a private club inside the arena with the Dell brand.

“One of the things that we really want to make sure that people in Austin, and children in Austin especially, have access,” Dell senior vice president Liz Matthews said. 

The computer company will “provide women’s and (men’s) basketball game tickets to the Boys and Girls Club of Austin, so they can access and be a part of the community and come to the games,” Matthews said.

To which Del Conte snapped, “You gonna give ’em a free laptop, too?”

Said Matthews: “You never know, right?”

McConaughey, Del Conte, Texas ex Emmanuel Acho, former UT women’s coach Jody Conradt and C3 Presents co-president Charles Attal all participated in a virtual roundtable Thursday to discuss Dell’s new partnership.

All of the panelists spoke about Austin’s need to address its growing challenges while keeping the same down-home hospitality that made the city great.

“It's going to be important for this to be evident that Austin is a place of opportunity,” Conradt said. “We need to be concerned about the people that are already here as well as the ones who come as newcomers. 

“What do we do about the homelessness and the things that are so evident in our city,” the coach continued, “it’s our responsibility to give a helping hand to help and to make sure that everybody has that same opportunity to enjoy this wonderful culture in this wonderful city.”

The new arena could become a creative center that outsiders will envy, Acho said.

“As Austin continues to be a first-class city, as the Moody Center becomes a first-class venue. I think other cities will look and say, I want to try to emulate that,” Acho said.

Talking up about Austin is right in McConaughey’s wheelhouse.

“We root for other people’s success,” McConaughey said. “We respect our private property but seem to need fewer fences to keep it that way. We welcome trailblazers, welcome free thinkers, we love outlaws and renegades. But if you are a tyrant, we will run your backside out of town.”

The Moody Center is about one year from opening, but it’s clear that multiple constituencies want the facility to succeed. 

“Let’s all be one team to usher in this next generation of Austin,” Matthews said, “and continue to work alongside each other to preserve and to grow what we love about this one-of-a-kind city.”

Contact Brian Davis by phone or text at 512-445-3957. Email bdavis@statesman.com or @BDavisAAS.