Raleigh could soon get amphitheater

May 27, 2008 2:27:54 PM PDT
The Capital City could soon be getting an amphitheater that has been used before in much larger cities, and it could be getting the structure on the cheap.

Roger Krupa, director of the new Raleigh Convention Center, said he has been in talks with the concert promoter Live Nation about acquiring the amphiteater, which could seat about 5,000 people.

"We've only agreed conversationally that this can be done," Krupa said.

Details are still sketchy, but the hope would be that both the city and Live Nation benefit. It turns out that Live Nation had an amphitheater that was originally built on the waterfront in Boston.

That structure, tent and all, was then moved to Denver. When it was no longer needed in Denver, Krupa said, he got in touch with the concert promoter about bringing the tent and its various parts to Raleigh. It's currently being stored here.

"We have all the pieces here," Krupa said. "It needs a lot of work, and we're getting engineers to work on the project now."

Krupa said he'd like to see the amphitheater placed on the block bordered by Lenoir, McDowell, Davie and Dawson Streets downtown.

At this point, the idea is that if the city can build a foundation for the amphitheater, Live Nation would fix it up and give it to Raleigh. Raleigh would allow Live Nation to book about 20 events or concerts annually. The city could have its own events there as well.

"I don't want to get the cart in front of the horse, but it could be really cool," Krupa said.

The project is in its very early stages, Krupa cautioned. It has not even been presented to the City Council.

Krupa said he would hope to model the amphitheater after Chastain Park in Atlanta.


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