Austin’s New Sports Stadium Will Be Solar-Powered

East Austin District sports stadium solar
East Austin District rendering. Credit: Bjarke Ingels Group

Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) revealed plans for a sports stadium and entertainment center in Austin, Texas, that the architectural firm says will have rooftop photovoltaic panels. Called East Austin District, the 1.3 million-square-foot project includes a 40,000-seat stadium next to a 15,000-seat multi-purpose arena.

BIG is collaborating with Walter P. Moore Engineers and STG Design on East Austin District for client Austin Sports & Entertainment, which will have the city’s first pro sports stadium. Set to be built at the site of Rodeo Austin — replacing the Travis County Expo Center — the new center is being designed to be the Rodeo’s new home as well as a destination for large-scale soccer and rugby matches, music festivals, and cultural events. Buildings at the edge of the district will offer retail, dining, hospitality, and youth facilities.

“Inspired by local vernaculars including the Jefferson Grid, the individual buildings in East Austin District are arranged as a checkerboard of different functions, appearing as a latticed roofscape from above,” BIG’s announcement says. “Offering more than protection, the rooftop covered in red photovoltaic panels could someday allow the self-sufficient district to share its energy resources community-wide — powering East Austin’s electricity and economy.”

Although the project collaborators haven’t provided additional details about the solar panel plan, the complex will join a growing list of sports venues worldwide that rely on solar power. In September, a report from Solarplaza listed the world’s top 50 solar stadiums and sports venues. At the top: the Indianapolis Motor Speedway built in 2014 with 39,312 panels in its 9,000 kWp system, the company reported. Of the 50 listed, 42% of the venues are located in the United States.

Vendors mentioned above:

  • Bjarke Ingels Group
  • Walter P. Moore Engineers
  • STG Design

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