Oak View Group has named four new executives for its Moody Center in Austin, Texas, a new, privately funded $338 million venue under construction. The 15,000-seat venue is expected to open in 2022 and will be home to University of Texas athletics programs.
Veronica Cantu will serve as vice president of marketing; Michael Owens will be vice president of booking; Tim Vogt will serve as vice president of arena operations; and Ansel Gardiner will be director of finance. The group will report report to Jeff Nickler, senior vice president of OVG Austin and Moody Center general manager, and Casey Sparks, vice president of OVG Austin and assistant general manager.
“We are thrilled to have such a diverse and talented group of leaders join OVG and Moody Center team,” said Nickler. “We handpicked each person for their respective roles, knowing they had a skill set to amplify a culture and vision that is authentic to Austin and that can deliver on the promise we made to have one the finest arenas in the country on every level.”
Cantu will lead public relations marketing and promotion for the arena and the events it books. She has more than 18 years in the sports and entertainment industry in sales and marketing having worked for the University of Texas (University Interscholastic League), Dallas Cowboys and Dallas Mavericks.
Owens was most recently assistant general manager of Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City. He will be tasked with developing the venue’s calendar of live entertainment and sporting events. Owens previously worked as director of live entertainment for Canucks Sports & Entertainment at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, as director of booking for BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and as general manager at Gillioz Theatre in Springfield, Missouri.
Vogt has more than 25 years of experience and will oversee the construction and completion of Moody Center. He will also manage venue operations, maintenance, information technology, and event production. He previously worked at Infinite Energy Arena (formerly Gwinnett Civic Center Arena) in Duluth, Georgia, Enterprise Center in St. Louis, BOK Center and Cox Business Convention Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Pensacola Bay Center in Pensacola, Florida.
Gardiner also brings more than 25 years of industry experience, having previously worked at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. He spent over two decades working on venue finance at Tucson Convention Center in Tucson, Arizona, Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Hard Rock Stadium in Miami.
Scheduled to open in early 2022, the 15,000-seat arena at the University of Texas at Austin campus will be built for music and provide a world-class venue for top touring concerts and shows. Moody Center will also be home to Texas men’s and women’s basketball games, graduations, as well as university, community, high school and other events for the Austin community.