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Raleigh Looking at Downtown Land as New Concert Venue

Posted January 3, 2008

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— A new entertainment venue for concerts and other ticketed events may be coming to downtown Raleigh, WRAL has learned. With it, city government would be dipping into the entertainment world.

Mayor Charles Meeker was talking Thursday about the city's latest idea.

“It's a new venue right downtown,” Meeker said. It would be an outdoor entertainment venue for live shows and summer concerts.

"The city is looking very actively at that," the mayor said.

The new entertainment venue would be located just across from the convention center, near McDowell Street. Right now, it’s a construction staging area for the convention center, however.

The mayor said the city’s envisioning an outdoor, amphitheater-like structure. It's thought that the new venue could bring in big named bands for ticketed concerts.

The area had been earmarked as a public space throughout planning for the area.

WRAL has been told the city may be looking for corporate sponsorship.

No blueprints are available yet, and there are no early cost estimates.

"I'm confident it will move forward,” Meeker said. “The tent cover is now here; it's being stored. The site will be available once the site at the convention center is complete - actually somewhat before - actually June or July. We should get going this summer."

The new convention center is set to open in late summer.

Harvey Schmitt, president and CEO of the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, said a concert venue makes sense.

"As you look at the growing population, both in residents downtown and as a result of the convention center, there will be new opportunities, especially in the area of entertainment," he said.

The city held several live shows in Moore Square last summer, and Meeker said the city would like both sites to work together.

“It's still being discussed, but Moore Square and the new site next to the convention center can work together. The new site would allow ticketed events and higher level acts to come in," Meeker said.

62 Comments

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  • wolfpacker93 Jan 4, 2008

    "If you are ignorant of what is going on downtown and proposed for the future, then yes, this project, and everything else people complain about on the forums, makes no sense. If, on the other hand, you have been paying attention and have gone downtown in the last six months, then this makes sense."

    By all means - please "educate" the unwashed masses on how this is supposed to be an ethical, or even intelligent, expenditure. An expenditure that apparently has not seen the light of day - at least for the non-Meeker worshiping, non-government teat sucking types go.

    We're all ears.

  • foetine Jan 4, 2008

    6,200 parking spaces don't go that far if there's a night they have an event at Memorial, the Convention Center and this outdoor joint. Is that enough real parking?

    If the Mayor announces that the city wants to get out of Walnut Creek - he needs to say that first before he surprises us with this new venue.

    The concert situation in Raleigh has gone downhill over the past two decades. Live Nation/Clear Channel treats us like dirt when it comes to bookings. Mayor Meeker is fooling himself if he thinks that this outdoor place is going to revive us. I'm sick of outdoor shows. I don't want to pay $100 to sweat, get stung by bugs and get dripped on by holes in the tent (there will be holes). I want to enjoy myself without surviving the venue.

    Being a resident of Raleigh, I don't want this growth to fail, but we're turning into Soul City 2.

  • ncwebguy Jan 4, 2008

    Does the round Clairon (former Holiday Inn?) not exist? Or does three blocks from Capitol Square not count as "downtown"?

    The Marriott is topped out (not building any higher) and scheduled to open this summer. It is not in the "gonna build" category.

    If you are ignorant of what is going on downtown and proposed for the future, then yes, this project, and everything else people complain about on the forums, makes no sense. If, on the other hand, you have been paying attention and have gone downtown in the last six months, then this makes sense.

  • ncsustudent Jan 4, 2008

    Hotels being built in downtown grid:
    Sheraton Expansion
    Winston Hotels
    Marriott Convention Hotel
    Lafeyette botique hotel
    Hampton Inn
    Aliva Hotels

    Edison 1 and 2 buildings have potential for Hotels.

  • jeffthompson Jan 4, 2008

    Waste of land and time! What about another hotel or 2 downtown, since Raleigh only has 1 (Sheraton). With a new convention center...where are the people suppose to stay? I heard they were gonna build a new hotel Downtown. Wow, that will make 2.

  • jackadoo Jan 4, 2008

    For those who do not know, Meeker is an inner beltline smoozer, who is loved by the PC police. There have been times Raleigh has had good mayors (Fetzer), who resisted the fight to squander our tax dollars, but Chuckie aint one of them. He never saw a downtown project or a bond that he did not like. Some of it is good (the park system) but most of those downtown projects will be subsidized forever. It all starts with the school board that wants everything, and then they graduate to council members, and eventually a mayor pops up. The only group with some common sense is usually the county commissioners.

  • jackadoo Jan 4, 2008

    Well, I just read that the RBC has a RODEO tonight, complete with Bulls and Cowboys. Maybe that is what meaker Meeker wishes to attract! Then State plays BB there tomorrow afternoon. Let's hope the cleanup crew is a good one...oh yeah, then the bull returns with Barry Manilow in 3 weeks.

  • dugmeister Jan 4, 2008

    a) we will never run out of water. all of you doom and gloomers need to realize that. Just as you say 'we will run out of water' with NO proof. I will say we will no run out of water.. with NO proof. Now we are even on that count.

    b) I love the thought of blasting out some heavy metal tunes downtown. yeah baby! rock and roll! I love it.

    Now I am off to wash all of my cars! Good day!!!

  • smitty Jan 4, 2008

    Meeker should play SimCity and watch what happens to his city when he turns the water off.

  • lornadoone Jan 4, 2008

    "I know, I know, 3 or 4 blocks to walk... With rapists, serial murderers, and homeless people all lurking in the shadows ready to stab you. Think of it as an opportunity to get some much needed exercise running for your life."

    OK, that made me LOL.

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