The Frank Erwin Center

Having lived in Austin, Texas for the majority of my life I have become quite acquainted with our largest indoor arena, the Frank Erwin Center. I have seen everything from basketball games to concerts at the Frank Erwin Center; I even proposed to my wife at a John Mayer concert back in 2010. I have sat in almost every area of the venue and you might be surprised to hear which seats gave me the best experience during my time in the audience at the Erwin Center.

Before you get into the Frank Erwin Center you have to find a place to park, but don’t worry because there are plenty of garages within an easy walking distance. The closest non-reserved lots are on Red River and are literally right next to the venue, but get there early if you want any chance at snagging a spot before the crowd shows up. The rest of the parking garages surrounding the Frank Erwin Center are all approximately the same distance with the exception of a few that are more south on Trinity. The majority of the parking is between San Jacinto and Trinity. These two roads run parallel to each other creating block after block of parking garages. There are also some parking garages on the University of Texas campus at Red River and Robert Dedman Drive that can be used as well. Prices to all the garages vary but offer a much better alternative to calculating how much money you need to give the pay-to-park meter in hopes that you’ll be back before the time expires…because it will expire.

The first concert I went to at the Frank Erwin Center was Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers in 1999. The show was a part of their Echo Tour and I was far too young to get 80% of the undertone in all of their songs but I loved the music. The only thing I can accurately recall from our seats is that we were not at the top but the floor was not in front of us which leads me to believe we were in the arena seating. I was 13 at the time but I can remember being able to see Tom Petty fairly well. I wouldn’t say they were the best seats I’ve had but they were not the worst either.


Another concert that is a bit fuzzy in my memory is Shania Twain. I do remember being on the floor but in the second to last row in the first section. I was young so seeing over 6 foot plus people was a much larger task than it is now. My recommendation for floor seating is to go big or get in the telescoping risers. If you’re not in the first ten or so rows of each of the floor sections visual acuity will become somewhat of a challenge due to the lack of elevation. The risers however offer the perfect elevation per row and are a great spot to enjoy the show from. I caught the John Mayer show from the section 43 arena risers and could see everything pretty vividly. Though the seats were good enough for a proposal to my wife, they were not my favorite.

My most recent trip to the Erwin Center was March of 2013 to see Eric Clapton and the Wallflowers. I took my brother-in-law and we sat in the arena level’s section 34. In looking at the map you might think that a spot all the way on the right side of the stage is the least compelling of all. I did too until I saw the show from that perspective. I know that this is almost 100% opinion but for me being able to see the entire band interact was one of the best concert experiences I have had and will lead me to get more seats on the side of stages. The view from the arena level provides enough clarity to see the performance and not have to decipher little fuzzy people to tell who you are watching. Sitting on the side of the stage versus sitting directly in front of the stage allows you to view the stage with depth and the ability to catch all the interactions between the bands set. I would agree that this will vary depending on the show but if you ever get a chance to catch a show from stage side I would still recommend it.

I’ve had many memories at Frank Erwin Center and am excited to continue to make more. There are tons of good acts coming through Austin in the next couple of months including Taylor Swift, Paul McCartney & Bruno Mars and now you know where the best seat in the house is.




  • HI

    this is a weird question but I am going to paul mccartney in may and was wondering when you are on the floor which seat is number 1 on each section. Like I am section 3 I was wondering if seat number 1 is usually on the right near the risers or on the left next to section 2. I didnt know if it might be the same for every concert. Ive been on the floor once before but its been a long time.

    • Hey Hilary,
      That’s a great question and in most cases, including Paul McCartney, seat 1 in section 3 of the floor will be next to section 2. Sounds like you have some great seats! Enjoy the show!

      • Oh ok. Well thanks I was wondering because I didnt want to be on the right side next to the risers because of the stage speakers and stuff would be in the way. Thanks so much for answering. I will definitely enjoy the show!

  • Hi! Your blog was very helpful. Do you mind answering another question in regards to the garage parking? We will be traveling from North Texas and have never been there. Do you know if I can run a online search of some of the nearest parking garages and see if pre-paying for parking is available? We will be at the Paul McCartney concert the following night on the 23rd. We be “old folks” like Paul and want to find the closest garage to park. We have seats Risers 36 , row 10. Will those be good? We are very excited!

    • Hello JWard,
      Glad to hear the blog was helpful! I think you will really enjoy your seats;the risers are a good place to be. With regards to parking you can go to and reserve a spot at the Trinity Garage which is one of the closest to the Frank Erwin Center. Hope this helps and enjoy the show!

      • Thank you! Thank you for your help. You make a very good Ambassador to Austin! I found the website and now have a printed parking permit and stashed it away with our concert tickets.

  • Thanks for the blog post! Been trying to find seating opinions. Wondering if you thought we were going to be completely miserable in sec 75 for McCartney!

    • Hey Steve,
      You will be a bit further away in section 75 but I think you will enjoy the stage interaction between McCartney and the band. If you are really wanting to see McCartney up close the Frank Erwin Center allows binoculars inside which are always a good concert tool. Have fun and enjoy the show and remember it’s Paul McCartney, every seat is a good seat!

  • Are there actual sections for the floor seating of a concert? Looking at FEC box office they just list GA for floor but other ticket sites list GABS and GAMB seating for floor. Can you help out? I’m confused as I thought floor was just all standing. Thanks!!

    • Hey J. Jackson, The floor seating at the Frank Erwin Center will vary from event to event, some having designated sections and others being standing room only or general admission. Depending on the event you are looking at attending it could be either. Other ticket providers may list these a different way so more than likely the tickets you are looking at are just GA (general admission). Hope this helps!

  • I am trying to buy John Mayer seats and a few others now. If u are awake please email or post cuz I could use an expert now. I am looking for the best possible seats I can get but near $250. I have never been to frank Erwin center and don’t know layout. Main criteria….b able to see him reasonably we’ll , I don’t want him to look like an ant, not enjoyable to me, good view of stage, I just want to enjoy for my money. I paid $750 for two tickets plus waitress and parking in Denver and I hated the whole thing please help me. Looking at sec 34-36 or 41,48,49,20,21. Thanks so so much .. Hope to hear from u soon