The City Council of Irvine, California and Live Nation have announced an agreement for the construction of a new permanent amphitheater at the center of the Great Park, which will be owned by the City and operated by Live Nation with a 30-year agreement once it is completed. Live Nation will carry out daily operations and manage the facility including purchasing and installing entertainment equipment.

The area is intended to fill the gap from the Irvine Meadows Amphitheater which hosted numerous live music events for 35 years until its closing in 2016. FivePoint Amphitheatre in the park has replaced the venue since then, but with portable seating and a temporary stage and restrooms.

The new amphitheater has a capacity of 14,000 seats, and it is set to be completed in time for 2025 concert season. The prospective operator Live Nation will be expected to host 25 shows a year, with an approximate $4.5 million revenue annually. The event promoter contributes $20 million to construction of the project whose total cost is around $130 million.

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“I’m thrilled to see the Great Park Development Framework becoming a reality. Each step we take will help us achieve our goal of making Great Park a world-renowned facility that reflects the needs and interests of our community,” said Mayor Farrah N. Khan.

“The design process has been a team effort with input from residents and stakeholders as well as lessons learned from the current temporary amphitheater,” shared Irvine City Manager Oliver C. Chi.

According to Voice of OC, Chi also praised the deal, pointing to projections from a city consultant that it would generate over $30 million in local business revenue and create over 400 jobs along with paying the city over $4 million each year.

Last week’s meeting for the new amphitheater saw support from the residents and theater unions as well as concerns about the venue, some claiming that it lacks plans and has been rushed.

Owner of the sole vote against the proposal, Councilman Larry Agran called for the approval to be delayed until more studies were completed. “I would really like to see this go back to staff and get some serious additional work done before rushing it through this body,” Agran said. Other council members disagreed.

It was reported that the facility was planned to avoid the use of the neighborhood streets and set the stage at 20 feet below grade and an earthen mound as high as 20 feet around the entire venue to contain noise.

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“We’re at an exciting moment today,” said Bret Gallagher, president of Live Nation Southern California. “I’ve seen a lot of venues – this one is special.”