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By Tim Hunt

Ambitious amphitheater plans in Dublin

Uploaded: Feb 17, 2015

The Dublin City Council moved ahead this month with impressive plans to build an aquatic complex at Emerald Glen Park in east Dublin.
The project had been put on hold during the recession when construction activity ceased in east Dublin. The area had been booming, but there were almost no building permits issued for a few years while the market reset.
Construction now booming again (Dublin's policy has been to plan well for traffic and other impacts at build-out and then let developers build at whatever pace they believe the market will allow. San Ramon has a similar policy, while Pleasanton is poised to establish a hard limit of 235 units annually on average. It's not the wisest approach).
With city revenues stabilized and now climbing, the City Council unanimously approved the $33 million project. It will include a large indoor pool, six water slides, a splash pool and what caught my eye—a 2,000-seat amphitheater. That's a huge performing arts facility and will be larger than the Wente Vineyards' summer site on Arroyo Road.
Given the large size, I reached out to Paul McCreary, who leads the parks and recreation department in Dublin, to inquire about whether the city is considering engaging a professional management company to bring professional touring acts to Dublin.
Paul wrote, "I am excited about the amphitheater venue we have planned for Emerald Glen Park. It will comfortably hold 2,000 (and up to 3,000 is we cram people in there). It is being designed as a 'simple venue' to start, with a 40-foot by 80-foot concrete stage, terraced lawn seating and retaining walls.
"The vision is to augment the state with a 7,000-square-foot structure in the future for a permanent stage canopy, dressing rooms, practice spaces and storage. Permanent seats could be added to the retaining walls in the terraced seating area, and infrastructure has been put in place for future sound and lighting needs.
"We believe this will be a great way for Dublin to create a unique niche in the Valley for performing arts. There are PLENTY of indoor performing arts spaces in the region already."
He went on to say it will primarily be used for city events, festivals and movie nights with no plans for professional management at this point.
A key word was at this point—once Dublin adds the permanent stage and the 7,000-square-foot building, it can be converted into an outdoor space capable of hosting professional acts. Taking it a step at a time and seeing how well the new facility works with Dublin's summer breezes will help determine the best ways to use it.
It's notable that summer concerts at Wente can range from a weather suitable for shorts and t-shirts to situations that require sweatshirts and blankets.