Make sure to read this WRAL article about the possibility of an outdoor amphitheater on the block directly west of the new convention center. I had thought that this area was supposed to be used for future convention center expansion. I really think that using this land for an outdoor concert venue is not the best use of it.
This is valuable property that is in the thick of our budding downtown. If the city is really serious about pushing conventions here, the potential of expansion should be maintained. Hopefully, if this amphitheater is built, it will not impact this or can be taken down. If expansion is not considered, then the land could be sold at a premium price and something tall and dense could be built.
If the amphitheater is built, it will sit empty for a majority of the year. Raleigh does not have the weather for a permanent venue to hold shows and events for 365 days. There are typically no more then maybe 15 downtown outdoor concerts each year with the current trend. The outdoor concert scene needs to improve, not expand.
I really think the land should remain open space for now, but I’m waiting for the final design from the city. Here’s my idea for big outdoor concerts: make the Dix property a park and you’ll have plenty of room there.
Here’s a final rendering of the convention center. This also shows the block to the west, with the current warehouses gone. I’m curious to see how an outdoor amphitheater would work with the ramp that goes under McDowell St., used to load large items in the convention center.