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29 New and Renovated Venues to Watch in 2022

Two years after touring and construction halted, companies are betting big on innovative spaces to bring fans back to live events.

If there’s one lesson to glean from Billboard’s 2022 New and Renovated Venues list, it’s that thanks to their size and adaptability, arenas remain the concert industry’s top money makers.

According to Billboard‘s midyear Boxscore report, arenas accounted for 11 of the 15 highest-grossing venues so far this year, bringing in over $536 million in revenue. And when it comes to 2022 arena development, no individual matches the reach and impact of Oak View Group chairman/CEO Tim Leiweke, the seasoned live entertainment executive who, as AEG president/CEO from 1996 to 2013, played a key role in the company’s construction of Los Angeles’ Staples Center (now Crypto.com Arena).

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Nine venues affiliated with Oak View Group, which has become a key player in the venues business since forming in 2015, appear on this year’s list, including three arenas that have opened in the past 12 months — the Moody Center at the University of Texas in Austin; the New York Islanders’ UBS Arena in Elmont, N.Y.; and Enmarket Arena in Savannah, Ga. — and a fourth, Acrisure Arena in Palm Springs, Calif., that will debut soon. Those complement another Oak View Group project, Seattle’s Climate Pledge Arena, which opened in 2021.

It’s an incredible accomplishment for the relatively young company, which has leaped ahead of competitors. With interest rates rising, other developers will likely struggle to close the impressive gap Leiweke has secured for Oak View Group.

But while arenas continue to secure the biggest talent — and most substantial paydays — developers also continue to invest heavily in the next generation of amphitheaters and indoor venues, with capacities ranging from 5,000 to 7,000 and providing the artists and fans who frequent clubs and theaters coast to coast with cutting-edge production. And, more than ever, the industry is opening high-caliber facilities in secondary and tertiary markets, expanding the live reach beyond its most frequented markets.

713 Music Hall (Houston)
Concert capacity: 5,000

Situated at POST, an entertainment and shopping complex in downtown Houston that was previously a U.S. Postal Service headquarters, the 5,000-capacity 713 Music Hall features an expansive general-admission floor and multiple tiers of seating surrounding the stage. The venue, which takes its name from its area code and maintains the industrial aesthetic of the building’s previous occupant, also has a series of bars, lounges and VIP areas that rival nightclubs, such as the Kashmere Lounge, a velvet-coated luxury space that can be utilized for private events. In November, Rüfüs Du Sol opened the Live Nation-managed venue, which has since booked artists such as Olivia Rodrigo, HAIM, Summer Walker, Rosalía and Death Cab for Cutie.

Acrisure Arena (Palm Springs, Calif.)
Concert capacity: 11,000

Acrisure Arena is slated to open in December in the sunny desert of the Coachella Valley, roughly two hours outside of Los Angeles. The 300,000-plus-square-foot facility will host 150 events annually, according to owner and operator Oak View Group, including the home games of the Coachella Valley Firebirds, Acrisure Arena’s sports tenant and the American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Seattle Kraken. In addition to sports and entertainment, the venue can host conventions, awards shows and exhibitions. The arena has emphasized sustainability with solar-covered parking canopies providing power, a commitment to distributing excess food to local food banks after events and a goal of achieving total carbon neutrality by 2025.

Baltimore Arena (naming rights TBD) (Baltimore)
Concert capacity: 15,000

Baltimore Arena
A rendering of the renovated Baltimore Arena in Baltimore, MD. Courtesy of Oak View Group

Opened in 1961 as the Baltimore Civic Center, this storied Maryland venue — which has hosted acts from The Beatles to Prince — will reopen its doors in February 2023 following a $200 million-plus renovation project by owner-operator Oak View Group in partnership with Thirty Five Ventures, NBA star Kevin Durant’s investment firm, and Pharrell Williams. The soon-to-be-15,000-capacity venue, most recently known as Royal Farms Arena from 2014 to 2022, will sport a new name, along with modernized acoustics, redeveloped suites, exclusive club levels, reimagined concourses and high-end concessions. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band are already booked to play the arena in April.

Budweiser Stage At Ontario Place (Toronto)
Concert capacity: 20,000 (outdoor), 9,000 (indoor)

For the last quarter-century, the partnership between Live Nation and Ontario’s Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport has garnered over 8 million tickets sold by bringing acts such as Drake, The Tragically Hip and David Bowie to Toronto’s Budweiser Stage at Ontario Place. And the relationship will continue to bear fruit in the years ahead, as Live Nation Canada turns the 16,000-seat amphitheater into a year-round venue that can alternate between outdoor and indoor formats with capacities of 20,000 and 9,000, respectively. Fans and artists will have to wait, though: The renovation isn’t expected to be complete until 2030.

Capital One Hall (Tysons, Va.)
Concert capacity: 1,600

Capital One Hall
A view of the main theater of Capital One Hall from the right box in Tysons, VA. Alan Karchmer/Courtesy of HGA

The new 1,600-seat performance hall in the Arlington suburbs just outside of Washington, D.C., is designed for Broadway productions, comedy shows and concerts. The Capital One Hall complex also includes a 225-seat black-box theater and The Perch, a rooftop green space 11 stories high with a beer garden, courtesy of local brewers Starr Hill, and the mini golf course Perch Putt. The venue features access to an extensive walkable ceiling grid, an adjustable proscenium stage and a multipurpose hydraulic lift for its house grand piano, which is stored in a chamber with controlled temperature and humidity when not in use.

The Center At The Del Mar Fairgrounds (Del Mar, Calif.)
Concert capacity: 1,900

In April, the board managing the Del Mar Fairgrounds, situated north of San Diego, approved a contract valued at over $16 million to allow Southern California venue Belly Up to manage The Center, a 90,000-square-foot concert venue that will be housed in a building on the campus once reserved for satellite horse-race wagering. The $13 million venue is expected to hold nearly 1,900 and host approximately 60 shows from touring bands per year. The contract between Del Mar Fairgrounds and Belly Up begins in April 2023, with options for renewals on a three-year period at the discretion of the fairgrounds.

Echo Lounge & Music Hall (Dallas)
Concert capacity: 1,000

The pandemic delayed the planned May 2020 launch of Echo Lounge & Music Hall, which Live Nation developed in partnership with the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and team owner Mark Cuban, but the 1,000-capacity club finally opened its doors in November 2021. In the city’s burgeoning Design District neighborhood, located just south of the team’s practice facility on land purchased by Cuban, the former warehouse and furniture store consists of a main music hall, a lounge and an outdoor patio and resides just across Interstate 35 from the American Airlines Center, where the Mavericks play.

Enmarket Arena (Savannah, Ga.)
Concert capacity: 9,500

Savannah’s new Enmarket Arena is the product of a $165 million investment by the city for a venue in its underdeveloped Canal District. Managed and operated by Oak View Group and booked in partnership with Live Nation, the arena opened in February with a performance by country artist Riley Green and has already attracted big names to the tertiary Georgia market, including Jason Aldean, Keith Urban, Widespread Panic, Andrea Bocelli, the Eagles and Bon Jovi. Between sets, patrons can enjoy the weather thanks to the arena’s expansive terraces.

Epstein Family Amphitheater (San Diego)
Concert capacity: 2,650

The state-of-the-art amphitheater on the campus of the University of California, San Diego will open with a San Diego Symphony performance on Oct. 21, followed by a concert with Death Cab for Cutie and Yo La Tengo the following night. Designed as part of the university’s effort “to create a grand entrance to the campus,” the 2,650-seat amphitheater will showcase performing arts, featuring local and international talent, as well as student, campus and community events. The space will serve as an informal gathering place and open park when it is not hosting events.

FirstOntario Centre (Hamilton, Ontario)
Concert capacity: 19,000

Oak View Group’s deal to renovate Hamilton’s FirstOntario Centre marked the company’s entry into Canada. Under a 49-year agreement with the city, Oak View Group and the private consortium Hamilton Urban Precinct Entertainment Group will operate and maintain the FirstOntario Concert Hall, Hamilton Convention Centre and FirstOntario Centre. The lattermost venue will undergo upgrades to its exterior facade and video board, a comprehensive transformation of the lower bowl, an expanded concourse level and a new flexible curtaining system for the upper-bowl balcony.

Hard Rock Live Sacramento At Fire Mountain (Sacramento, Calif.)
Concert capacity: 3,000

The Hard Rock Live brand continued its growth in June when Maroon 5 performed at the grand opening of Hard Rock Live Sacramento at Fire Mountain, the company’s new venue in the state capital and its first in Northern California. Despite a large general-admission capacity of 3,000 — 2,500 for seated audiences — the venue’s design ensures that no fan is farther than 140 feet from the stage. The club also offers a second-level mezzanine with VIP skyboxes and balcony seating for premium experiences and, in keeping with the Hard Rock’s M.O., has more than 40 pieces of rock’n’roll memorabilia displayed on its premises.

History (Toronto)
Concert capacity: 2,553

Drake deepened his connection with his Toronto hometown when he partnered with Live Nation to open History, a club with a sleek, wood-paneled exterior lit with LED lights and an adjustable capacity for seated and general-admission events that tops out at 2,553. With lyrics by Canadian artists such as Avril Lavigne and The Tragically Hip adorning the building, the venue — as its name suggests — pays homage to the country’s musical lineage. (Likewise, one History staircase bears Drake’s iconic line, “Started from the bottom now we’re here.”) Since opening in November 2021 with a show from Bleachers, History has booked major touring acts including Jack Harlow, Wizkid, Lil Nas X, Sebastián Yatra and Muse.

Las Vegas Sports Arena & Concert Venue (Las Vegas)
Concert capacity: 20,000

Earlier this year, Oak View Group announced plans to develop a $3 billion entertainment district south of the Las Vegas Strip. To meet the city’s steep venue competition — AEG’s T-Mobile Arena and the NFL’s Allegiant Stadium opened in 2016 and 2020, respectively — Oak View Group plans to overhaul 25 acres with an 850,000-square-foot arena, a new casino, a hotel and an additional amphitheater. Marc Badain, former president of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders, has partnered with Oak View Group to work on the location, which is scheduled to open in 2026.

Legacy Arena At BJCC (Birmingham, Ala.)
Concert capacity: 15,000

Thanks to a $125 million face-lift, the city-managed Legacy Arena has been reimagined as a distinct, retro-style public area with brighter spaces and a more contemporary interior design. Originally opened in 1976, the venue reopened in December following a 20-month renovation with 15,000 replacement seats and major updates to its main entrance, lighting rig, audio and video systems, concessions, bathrooms and loading dock. The revamped facility also features a new club level and new suites for audiences and artists alike. Legacy Arena is booked by the BJCC staff.

Live Oak Bank Pavilion (Wilmington, N.C.)
Concert capacity: 7,200

Located in downtown Wilmington alongside the Cape Fear River, Live Oak Bank Pavilion at Riverfront Park marks Live Nation’s first waterfront venue in the Carolinas. With one-third of its 7,200-capacity seating on its lawn, the Live Nation-managed facility is part of a multimillion-dollar, 6.6-acre city park consisting of green space, boardwalks, fountains and river views. The amphitheater also features private event spaces for conferences, corporate gatherings, fundraisers, concerts and graduations. Since opening in July 2021, the venue has hosted such acts as Glass Animals, Trey Anastasio and Widespread Panic.

Milwaukee Venues (name TBD) (Milwaukee)
Concert capacity: 4,000 & 800

Wisconsin’s largest concert promoter, FPC Live, alongside parent company Frank Productions and partner Live Nation, is slated to open two music venues in Milwaukee’s Deer District in 2023. The development of the venues — one is planned to hold 4,000 and the other 800 — is a joint venture with the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks and is estimated to cost $50 million, according to FPC Live. The venues will also serve as the promoter’s headquarters.

Moody Center (Austin)
Concert capacity: 15,000

Austin’s Moody Center burst onto the Texas scene with two nights from John Mayer, followed by Bon Jovi, Justin Bieber and a show-stopping opening night featuring George Strait and Willie Nelson in April. The 17,000-seat arena is a joint venture among Oak View Group, Live Nation and the University of Texas that replaced the 45-year- old Frank Erwin Center, the former home of the University of Texas’ men’s and women’s basketball teams. The arena, situated on UT’s campus, will continue to serve the Texas Longhorns basketball programs while also hosting shows from major touring artists.

MSG Sphere Las Vegas (Las Vegas)
Concert capacity: 20,000

U2 will open the MSG Sphere at The Venetian in Las Vegas with a multinight residency when the $1.8 billion facility opens in November 2023, finally bringing to life the high-tech venue built by Madison Square Garden Entertainment chairman James Dolan. The multisensory experience of sound and light can hold 20,000 standing spectators or 17,500 seated guests. It will include 23 VIP suites, 160,000 square feet of immersive video viewing space, state-of-the-art spatial audio and an exosphere that changes the building’s exterior look with fully programmable LED technology.

MSG Sphere London (London)
Concert capacity: 17,500

If London Mayor Sadiq Khan approves the project later this year, construction could soon begin on the European counterpart to James Dolan’s Las Vegas Sphere, creating two bedrocks of the model that the Madison Square Garden Entertainment chairman hopes will eventually upend how venues shape touring. Recently given the green light by the London City Council following an extended, controversial approval process, the MSG Sphere’s iconic exterior will serve as a digital showcase for the venue, artists and partners. Inside, an adaptive acoustics system will deliver crystal-clear audio to guests, while a haptic sensory system allows the audience to physically feel the experience.

Mullett Arena (Tempe, Ariz.)
Concert capacity: 5,000

Arizona State University and Sun Devil Athletics received the required approvals for this multipurpose arena earlier this year that will host community events, concerts and educational opportunities and serve as the future home for Sun Devil men’s ice hockey, wrestling and women’s gymnastics. SCI Architects designed the arena, and Mortenson Construction will serve as the design builder. The arena includes 20 luxury suites, two group suites and a large club lounge that runs along center ice and can host up to 500 fans. Construction began in January 2021 and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Music Farm (Charleston, S.C.)
Concert capacity: 650

This year, Live Nation and subsidiaries NS2 and FPC Live reopened the famed Music Farm venue in downtown Charleston for the first time since it closed in 2020 due to the pandemic. Renovations to the 30-year-old venue, which has hosted Run-D.M.C., Wilco, Alison Krauss and Phish in its history, included upgrading the bar, floors and sound system, as well as its food and beverage options. The partnership with NS2 and FPC Live adds to Live Nation’s growing portfolio of owned-and-operated venues around the globe and the company’s roster of exclusively booked venues in the Carolinas. (FPC Live and NS2 also operate the storied Charleston Music Hall.)

Orion Amphitheater (Huntsville, Ala.)
Concert capacity: 8,000

Orion Amphitheater
A view of the stage of the Orion Amphitheater in Huntsville, AL. Josh Weichman

Within two months of its May opening, Alabama’s 8,000-capacity Orion Amphitheater had already welcomed 100,000 fans. The brainchild of Mumford & Sons’ Ben Lovett (who also serves as CEO of Orion developer The Venue Group), the outdoor venue opened with The First Waltz, a two-day extravaganza that featured Jason Isbell, Brittany Howard, Mavis Staples, Emmylou Harris and others, and has since hosted Jack White and Dave Matthews Band. Outside the amphitheater is Apollo Park, an outdoor space that will be open to the public year-round, excluding event days.

Roadrunner (Boston)
Concert capacity: 3,500

The AEG-owned Bowery Presents venue at Boston Landing in the city’s Allston-Brighton neighborhood, is a reimagined Boston Celtics practice facility turned GA-venue heralded for its clean sightlines and updated acoustics. Much of the venue’s spacious layout and finishes are the work of Josh Bhatti, vp and head of the Boston office of The Bowery Presents, a regional partner of AEG Presents. Four large bars ensure fans avoid overcrowding and long lines, while backstage, artists have access to five dressing rooms with showers, a catering kitchen for artists who bring their own food & beverage team on the road and a cushy common area where bands can recharge.

Snapdragon Stadium (San Diego)
Concert capacity: 35,000

Built for San Diego State University’s new Mission Valley campus, Snapdragon Stadium is a flexible venue able to host Aztec football games, the National Women’s Soccer League’s SD Wave and concerts. The 35,000-seat football stadium will feature large outdoor concourses to provide spacious and exciting experiences for fans, and its design features a variety of premium seating options and signature social decks with coveted field views. The stadium opened in September with a calendar including Aztec football, the SD Wave home opener and a Jimmy Buffett concert in October.

Steelhouse Omaha (Omaha, Neb.)
Concert capacity: 3,000

Omaha Performing Arts is opening its third venue, the flexible, 1,500- to 3,000-capacity Steelhouse Omaha, in May 2023. The all-genre concert space will join OPA’s entertainment campus that includes The Orpheum Theater and the Holland Performing Arts Center. The $104.1 million venue has been funded with private support and $1.1 million from the City of Omaha, and Live Nation will serve as its exclusive promoter.

The Sunset (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
Concert capacity: 8,000

The Sunset is the first in a series of a half-dozen open-air amphitheaters being built throughout the United States by Notes Live, the Colorado Springs-based developer founded by businessman J.W. Roth, that will soon add venues in Murfreesboro, Tenn., and Gainesville, Ga., to its portfolio. Upon The Sunset’s planned opening in 2023, the $40 million space will host touring acts near the company’s current midsize music venue Boot Barn Hall, offering an unparalleled view of the sun setting over Pikes Peak and the Colorado Rockies behind the stage as concerts begin.

Sunset Music Colosseum (Murfreesboro, Tenn.)
Concert capacity: 4,500

In 2023, Notes Live will open an 18-acre complex near downtown Murfreesboro on a parcel of city-owned land. Already dubbed Bucket City, the property will be home to The Sunset Music Colosseum on the River, an outdoor venue with room for 4,500 people. Notes Live’s plans for the campus also include a 1,400-capacity indoor venue — which, like the company’s midsize Colorado Springs club, will be named Boot Barn Hall — and the upscale casual dining spot Bourbon Brothers Smokehouse and Tavern.

Tech Port Arena (San Antonio)
Concert capacity: 3,100

The $70 million esports and music venue opened in May and serves as an educational campus with a state-of-the-art technology infrastructure being built for the Port of San Antonio, a new hub for over 80 private and public companies on the former Kelly Air Force Base. The 3,100-capacity space can be configured as an auditorium or conference center for large meetings and training programs in cybersecurity, virtual and augmented reality, as well as other technologies. When not hosting lectures or concerts by acts such as Beach House, Halestorm and Julieta Venegas, Tech Port Arena will also serve as an electronic gaming arena.

UBS Arena (Elmont, N.Y.)
Concert capacity: 19,000

In November, Harry Styles closed his 2021 tour with the first-ever concert at UBS Arena in Elmont, N.Y., the Long Island enclave that sits on Queens’ eastern border. Since then, the joint venture among Oak View Group, Sterling Equities and the NHL’s New York Islanders has hosted Tool, Journey, John Mayer, Roger Waters and others. In addition to putting an emphasis on touring acts — the arena’s slogan is “Made for music, built for hockey” — the 19,000-capacity venue’s design invokes art deco architecture and was inspired by Big Apple destinations like Central Park, Ebbets Field and Grand Central Terminal.

Additional reporting by Taylor Mims.

This story originally appeared in the Sept. 17, 2022, issue of Billboard.