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San Diego Symphony to start bayside venue construction next month

San Diego Symphony pushes for permanent venue
Posted at 3:27 PM, Aug 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-15 20:54:08-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The San Diego Symphony Orchestra announced Thursday they are breaking ground in September for the Bayside Performance Park, a new permanent venue for the Orchestra at the Embarcadero Marina Park South.

The Symphony Board of Directors voted unanimously Wednesday on the 9-month plan that will be complete in time for summer concerts in 2020.

Symphony CEO Martha Gilmer said they are taking advantage of an underutilized part of the Embarcadero, "we've looked and there is no performance venue on the water like this, certainly not in the state of California, but probably the U.S."

READ RELATED: San Diego Symphony's new bayside venue clears last hurdle before build

The Symphony has been stalking the venue for years, "people had the idea to have a permanent venue out here for 17 years, but we have been hard at work for four," she said.

The final project can seat up to 10,000, "feature a permanent, highly innovative, architecturally striking and acoustically superior outdoor stage that will allow the Symphony to present a wider variety of musical presentations and enrich the patron experience with improved sight-lines, expanded concession area and permanent bathrooms," the press release states.

"I understand that some people on Coronado are concerned about the potential for noise but it's good noise," neighbor Sam Ciccati said, excited about the new venue.

The design shifted due to that concern, pointing the shell-shaped stage away from the island. The venue will host more than the symphony and there's the possibility Comic-Con could get involved.

"We would have concerts here of course, but it remains a park much of the year, and we'll be able to have yoga classes with a string quartet and we'll be able to have children activities, really activate this site an bring more people to the bay," Gilmer said, suggesting it could be an education destination teaching students about the port and being water-wise.

"The only thing that will limit us here is our own imaginations," she said.

The project is projected to cost $45 million, funded completely by private donations. Gilmer said they've raised half the amount and hope to see more generosity.