Irvine City Council expected to vote on proposed 14,000-seat amphitheater by end of February

Jessica De Nova Image
Thursday, February 16, 2023
Irvine expected to vote on proposed concert venue by end of February
We could know by the end of February if the Irvine City Council will approve a permanent 14,000-seat concert amphitheater.

IRVINE, Calif. (KABC) -- Locals, hospitality employees and labor and entertainment union representatives made it clear to the Irvine City Council Tuesday that they want a permanent, outdoor amphitheater.

Irvine Mayor Farrah Khan said the majority of comments coming to the council were in favor of an amphitheater in Great Park with a 14,000-seat capacity.

"We've gotten hundreds of emails coming in and the majority of those have been in support as well," Khan said.

The entertainment company, Live Nation, is behind the proposed $130 million facility and are agreeing to cover $20 million. The city of Irvine would foot the rest of the bill and own the property.

Khan said Wednesday in an interview via Zoom with Eyewitness News that the project would provide employment for hundreds, maybe upwards of a thousand people.

Before this came Irvine Meadows, followed by the current and temporary 12,000-seat FivePoint Amphitheater. Both are operated by Live Nation.

Most in opposition are concerned with noise and traffic, and instead asked for a smaller 8,000-seat venue.

In a letter to city leaders, dated Feb. 13, Live Nation executives claim a smaller amphitheater may actually increase noise impact, writing in part: "We have engaged the independent experts at Metropolitan Acoustics to conduct more in-depth studies that will take into account additional mitigation factors, using new information from our proposed design and construction of the facility."

Mayor Khan said the council would consider all concerns, but wants to attract big names and help boost the local economy.

"We're not there to build a mediocre park. We want to build that great park," Khan said.

After a hours-long public comment session Tuesday, the council voted to deliberate during their next meeting, scheduled for Feb. 28.