McLaren Engineering Group provided structural engineering services the massive entertainment venue, Texas Live!. The premier dining, entertainment and hospitality district was developed by Major League Baseball team – the Texas Rangers, The Cordish Companies and the City of Arlington. From schematic design to construction administration, the McLaren team worked to complete Texas’ new 200,000-square-foot restaurant and music venue.
The redevelopment transformed a surface parking lot between the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers stadiums – adjacent to the Rangers’ new Globe Life Field – into a world-class entertainment destination. The combined entertainment venue and hotel is the first of its kind in the country, providing guests an unprecedented upscale experience that blends sports and entertainment with first-class hospitality and amenities.
The two-level Live! entertainment venue is a 150,000-square-foot complex that includes two flexible performance venues and eight restaurants. The outdoor performance pavilion, Arlington Backyard, accommodates up to 4,000 people and is set to host a variety of festivals cultural activities and concerts. The indoor Live! Arena, dubbed the “living room” of Texas Live!, is the central gathering place comprised of over 35,000 square feet of dining, sports and entertainment options. The space seats 1,200 people and is flexible for performances, with a restaurant venue, a two-level open atrium, a tiered mezzanine, a 65-by-20-foot HD video screen and a 60-foot tall glass curtain wall that provides views of AT&T Stadium.
Texas Live! was designed using a combination of structural systems. The composite frame maximizes structural spans and minimizes structural depth and steel tonnage. Below-grade areas were also designed using flat-plate concrete and constructed using techniques similar to “cut and cover” tunneling, allowing for underground corridors and back-of-house space. The structure is stabilized laterally with moment frames, maximizing flexibility and eliminating the need for structural walls or diagonal bracing.
The indoor and outdoor venues have a roof system that spans the entire space. They are framed with 120-foot and 160-foot open web framing, creating a column-free interior. Custom fabricated roof trusses posed a challenge due to the accelerated construction schedule. McLaren worked closely with a leading supplier to customize the use of standard long-span joists to achieve the spans and load requirements of the performance venues while saving the owner time and money.
To combat Central Texas’ expansive clay soil, McLaren worked closely with the geotechnical engineer of record to implement moisture conditioning. The clay layer was treated before foundation work began and a cost-effective slab on grade was detailed to adjust to minor fluctuations in soil volume.
Another below-grade site challenge was the presence of an existing sanitary sewer line, critical to the City of Arlington, located in the middle of the proposed venue. McLaren worked closely with city engineers to mitigate the problem, engineering a foundation scheme that bridged over the line and placed foundation shafts a safe distance away.