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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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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.
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Posted by San Ramon Observer, a resident of San Ramon,
on Feb 17, 2015 at 4:16 pm

San Ramon Observer is a registered user.

That would be about 1/4 the size of the Concord Pavilion. I'm not sure if some of the big name acts that play up there would be willing to be in a smaller venue, but it would be nice to have shows like that closer to home.


Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Feb 17, 2015 at 7:17 pm

bring in tony bennett and lady gaga and i'll be first in line...

Posted by Ed, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Feb 20, 2015 at 1:24 pm

I welcome the idea of an amphitheater. Joaquin Miller park in Oakland has had the Woodminister ampotheater for decades and it's served their community well. I've attended Shakespeare in the park at that venue as well as other local productions and find it's size is just right.
San Francisco has Dolores Park and Sharon Meadow which hosts the symphony and opera so smaller venues like the one being planned in Dulin work well.

There's nothing like it in our area that I'm aware of so I think it would be a hit. There are plenty of folks with spending money in our area who would love to stay local instead of having to go "over the hill".

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