Downtown Concert Venue Possible [UPDATE: 1-4-08]

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.

UPDATE: 1-4-08

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.

4 Comments

  1. Well so far they’ve been pretty vague about the type of amphitheater they’ve got in mind. I can visualize something that incorporates green space with outdoor entertainment that isn’t too permanent and could still be used for expansion.

    Certainly we don’t need something as big as Walnut Creek or Koka Booth out there.
    Perhaps something like in downtown Winston-Salem at Winston Square? see http://www.ci.winston-salem.nc.us/Assets/CityOfWS//Images/Recreation/Wsquare6.jpg

  2. Interesting article. Wonder under what context Mayor Meeker’s comments were made. Was he speaking somewhere and this came up, or did WRAL just so happen to question him about this. Maybe this has been discussed before and I’ve just missed it b/c I’m still finding my footing in the area. Also, what’s your e-mail address?

  3. I do realize that the details are vague so I am waiting for the final designs. Raleighrob, Winston Square looks nice but I still think that this block would not be the best location for it. I could be proven wrong though because someone could argue that it is a perfect fit for this “cultural district” with the PE center nearby, the art galleries in the warehouse district, and the future contemporary art museum.

    It does feel like they just stumbled upon this fact when talking to the mayor, the article is not too clear. We’ll just have to wait and see. BTW, e-mail me at the website address dtraleigh1792@gmail.com.

  4. Personally, I think its an awesome idea. There are not many other places in the country that have an outdoor amphitheater in the middle of downtown. I’ve long thought that Raleigh has great potential to be a very cool mid-size city much like Austin, TX.

    In my opinion, Walnut Creek is too far out. There’s nothing around it so its extremely inconvenient. On top of that, since WCA so far out, people are inclined to drive drunk.

    The upside potential for a downtown venue is fantastic. The only problem I can see is there are not enough hotel rooms downtown to attract big-names.

    Raleigh needs something to attract tourist outside of the Hurricanes & the new convention center. Quite honestly, I think an amphitheater in that location would help pull in business for the convention center. As superficial as it is, a downtown venue adds an air of coolness. As a person who travels a lot, like it or not, nobody wants to go to a city thats not cool.

    My 2 pennies.

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