Look! A new $109 million music venue downtown. Wait, what?; David Nance Group, Long Hots tonight…

Category: Blog — Tags: , , — @ 1:31 pm November 7, 2019

The new Omaha Performing Arts live music venue would cost a cool $109 million.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

By now you’ve probably seen the press release wherein Omaha Performing Arts announces plans to build a $109 million music venue located from Dodge Street to Capitol Avenue between 11th and 12th streets in downtown Omaha. If not, go here now. We’ll wait…

The facility, with a capacity of 1,500 to 3,000 and no fixed seats is slated to open in 2023. According to Kevin Coffey’s article in the Omaha World-Herald, the venue “could accommodate a standing-room crowd for a rock concert or a thrust stage and seating risers for an immersive opera performance.”

A few questions come to mind:

— Who exactly is the target audience for this facility? Is it classical music aficionados or rock fans? Is OPA going to book it? Do they know anything about booking rock shows?
— What hole does this fill that the current arenas as well as the already-announced 1% indoor-outdoor music venue in La Vista doesn’t fill? (Kevin does a great job at the end of his article listing all the existing / coming facilities).
— Why does it cost $109 million?

Seems a bit crazy, but I guess downtown developers are eager to figure out ways to get people to come downtown? And there are plenty of local millionaires (billionaires?) with money burning a hole in their pockets.

From the OPA press release: “We believe the Live Music Venue will significantly improve music opportunities available in Omaha, especially for the key audience demographic of 21 to 45 years old. This proposed O-pa campus expansion provides an excellent fit with the renovations underway along the Riverfront, and will further enhance Omaha’s downtown entryway.”

There’s an argument that this new venue will also somehow help keep young people in our fair city (or attract more young people). As someone aptly put it in one of the many Facebook threads about this topic: Maybe they should take $1 million of the $109 million and apply it to developing the talent that’s already here. Because, folks, we’ve lost a shitload of talented folks over the past couple years, more than than I can remember losing in the past decade. And I don’t think they left because they didn’t have a $109 million venue to perform at.

Anyway, read the OPA press release here.

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David Nance Group returns to The Brothers Lounge tonight and they’re bringing along some Third Man Records label-mates: Long Hots form Philly. You won’t want to miss it, and it’s just $5. Starts at 10 p.m.

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2019 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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