Major League Soccer Stadium Rises in Austin

In Austin, Texas, a new home is being built for the rapidly growing city’s first major league sports team. The Austin FC Stadium is a 20,500-seat soccer park and stadium set to open in spring 2021. Designed to incorporate multiple uses, the 24-acre stadium site also will serve as an outdoor venue for concerts and other hospitality events.

Stadium rendering courtesy Gensler Sports, the project’s designer/architect.

Photo: Amy Denney/Community Impact Newsletter

Photo: Lenny Tropiano, Fly the Sky Drone Productions

Ceco is providing formwork services for the decks (pans) and placing the vertical concrete for the columns that support the stadium’s roof canopy. The formwork systems being used are Ceco’s own lap pans, loose aluminum and beam panel tables. The pan slabs were designed for the office and concourse levels, with precast seating positioned on steel raker beams. Additionally, Symons steel forms are being used for the “super columns.”

Constructing super columns

The stadium design includes four 90-foot-tall super columns to support the roof. The columns are 5 feet deep by 5 feet wide. One goal was to construct the columns with as few vertical concrete pours as possible, eliminating the appearance of pour joints and color differences in the exposed column concrete. The solution was to execute four pours for each column, with some pour heights totaling as much as 34 feet, and adding 1½-inch-thick embed plates for the roof tie-in. Each embed plate is 2 feet x 6 feet 4 inches and weighs more than 700 pounds. The columns were braced externally, delivering ideal results.

To prevent any honeycombing at the columns’ surface, the crew used five 40-foot-long concrete vibrators to eliminate air bubbles and provide a smooth finish. As a result, only minimal patching has so far been needed along the 1½-inch chamfer, which was created to help hide the pour joints.

The vertical pour process has enabled the Ceco crew to maintain an aggressive project schedule after construction began in September 2019. Watch the columns (and stadium) rise in this time-lapse video from Austin FC. The video shows the project’s progress over its first six months of construction.

Fast Stats
Austin FC Stadium
10414 McKalla Place, Austin, Texas
Project Owner: Austin FC
Developer: Austin StadCo LLC
General Contractor: Austin Commercial LP
Designer/Architect: Gensler Sports
Structural Engineer: Walter P Moore
Ceco Scope: Concrete formwork and column concrete pours
Ceco Project Manager: Kenneth Mack
Ceco Superintendents: Manuel Ramos, Francisco Urrutia

Drone video courtesy Lenny Tropiano, Fly the Sky Drone Productions, lenny@flytheskydrone.com.