Downtown Amphitheater Under The Big Top

Tent_night The block that has been long-occupied by Sir Walter Chevrolet (map it) is slated for long term convention center expansion. The plan is for the main convention hall space to expand under McDowell Street into the future expansion space. The block is currently being used as a staging area for convention center construction, but medium range plans call for a downtown amphitheater.

Opening in May of 2009, the 5,000 seat outdoor amphitheater is planned to feature nearly 50 shows. About half of those will be booked by Live Nation (the company that books and operates Walnut Creek Amphitheater).

Tent_stage The amphitheater will be mostly covered by a tent structure’s with a rich history. It was originally used in Boston until it was replaced by a more permanent structure and sent to Denver. Live Nation bought the structure and is giving it to Raleigh. We just have to replace the fabric canopy and erect it ourselves. It’s a win/win situation and excellent example of successful recycling. 

Does anyone have any proposals for a name for this facility?



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  • Chris Said:

    Thanks for the news. Out of curiosity, where did you hear it? I find it kinda hard to believe and actually think this might be more appropriately used somewhere at dix…. mainly for scale and flexibility sake.

  • Ron T Said:

    Seems like a bad idea to me. I love a lively downtown, but walking around hearing the echos from a not distant enough show is not my idea of interesting urban sounds…it’s noise. I think somewhere like Dix makes more sense. As for the name, I assume it will be mostly financed by taxpayers, but named by a corporation willing to pony up some cash too.

  • Pete R. Said:


  • Jerry Said:

    I agree, Dix property is the location for this. If I can hear the sounds from inside a restaurant, I am not spending my money downtown. Put this at Dix with the skyline as the backdrop (connected by a overhead bridge from hotel to dix property). This is a pathetic location, what the heck are they thinking!

  • Ashton Said:

    The news is from the Planning Commission and has been rumored for some time now – I think WRAL is running a story on it tonight as well.

    As far as noise – I’m certain that this venue will be subject to noise ordinances, just like the rest of Raleigh. If Downtown Live doesn’t bother you – I’m sure this won’t either.

    Furthermore, Dix is a great idea – I’ll give you that. But not only do we not own that land – we are a LONG way from owning that land. And no one has turned down the notion that IF we ever get access to the property, IF we raise the money, and IF it is purchased, and IF it is zoned to hold a venue like this, that it could not support something similar. But realistically, if everything else fell into place, you’re looking at something in, at best, 5 years. Which coincidentally would work out well since this is not even a permanent structure.

    I think this is an awesome location – not next to any real ‘neighborhoods’, walkable to great bars and restaurants, and still well inside (a rapidly expanding) downtown proper.

    It is strange to me that people who want so much for downtown managed to so quickly turn an awesome piece of news into something else to whine about…

  • Lisa Jeffries Said:

    Sir Walter Chevrolet? Am I missing a joke or something here?

  • Larry Said:

    I think this is a great ideal!!

  • seekthesummit Said:

    i agree 100% ashton. without ron and jerry there i’ll have more room to dance. win-win.

  • Ron T Said:

    How is one to comment on Dana’s post and include anything other than “wow, great”…”oooooh wonderful” and it not be whining? I need to know since I had thought I was merely posting a thought, I did not realize I was whining. And I don’t appreciate having my comment dismissed as such.

  • Ben Said:

    Get him some cheese.

    Well said, Ashton.

  •» Blog Archive » City Council Approves Amphitheater Plan Funding Said:

    […] the Raleigh City Council approved funding for final plans for the (previously mentioned) downtown amphitheater. The funding will go toward design and noise studies (NIMBYs in Boylan Heights are concerned about […]

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