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Huge Concert Venue Rises on the Waterfront

January 29, 2013

Mockup of America's Cup Pavilion Don't expect a piano recital here, but classical music may yet play a (limited) role in the 9,000-seat waterfront concert venue planned for the 34th America's Cup, on Piers 27-29. Besides the size, the facility is also newsworthy because of its construction schedule.

America's Cup Pavilion will open June 2, with a performance by Sting; construction is to begin in the spring, which may mean a lead time of just three months for completion.

Plans for San Francisco's first outdoor, waterfront concert venue are clear enough during the May-October Cup race — concerts, comedy, family friendly shows, Cup-related events — but it's unknown at this point what will happen to it after fall. Eventually, the pavilion will be dismantled, providing space for a major new cruise terminal, part of a plan to rehabilitate derelict Port of San Francisco properties on the Embarcadero, where the Warriors hope to build a new arena at nearby Piers 30-32 by 2017.

The Live Nation facility is about the same size as Berkeley's Greek Theatre, which is operated by rival concert promoter Another Planet Entertainment. Live Nation also operates the 22,000-seat Mountain View Shoreline Amphitheatre and 12,500-seat Concord Sleep Train Pavilion.

Original specifications, which may be altered during construction, called for a 44,000-square feet facility, with 40-foot tall removable bleachers; 70-foot tall concert stage/video display. Near the concert venue, another 1,000 bleacher seats arranged amphitheater-style will face the Bay for yacht race spectators.

Janos Gereben appreciates news tips, corrections, and words of encouragement at [email protected].