The Pelham City Council elected to approve a road widening project for Amphitheater Road, which leads to the Oak Mountain Amphitheatre, even as a Live Nation plan to manage a new amphitheater in North Birmingham seems to be coming to fruition.
The proposed new theater would be owned by Birmingham Jefferson Convention Center (BJCC) and managed by Live Nation. It would be slightly smaller than the 10,500-seater in Pelham, with only 8,900 to 9,000 seats.
It would be located on the Caraway Hospital site, which Corporate Realty purchased in 2020 after the Birmingham City Council re-zoned the property for mixed-use and approved over $13 million in incentives, including a $4.1 million grant to help the company acquire the property.
The City of Pelham's communications manager, Ainsley Allison, said the road widening project was planned in 2019 to reduce traffic congestion for the new Canopy at Oak Mountain. This mixed-use development will eventually be part of the city's entertainment district.
Canopy will contain hundreds of luxury apartments, retail stores and restaurants like Atlanta-based Taco Mac and Mountain High Outfitters. It will be located on the other side of Amphitheater Road from the current amphitheater.
1819 News contacted Pelham Mayor Gary Waters, who discussed the potential move in October, to ask about the city's plans for the amphitheater property if Live Nation does move. Waters did not respond.
Allison said that Live Nation had not officially notified the city that it intended to move, and the city had no further comment beyond the original statement it issued in October when the plans for the potential new amphitheater went public. She said that the city was still in communication with Live Nation and that, to her knowledge, the amphitheater move would not impact the new development.
"Again, It would be premature to say that they are moving or at least closing Oak Mountain Amphitheater," Allison said. "They have not indicated like that to us."
The Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex already agreed to pay $5 million upfront for the new theater's construction. It also agreed to finance $30 million.
The Jefferson County Commission elected to shell out $5 million toward the project in February.
Other localities and organizations were asked to fork up $5 million each. Birmingham City Council elected to contribute in January. Live Nation must still contribute its $5 million, and the BJCC must agree to a deal with Corporate Realty for the proposed site to move the project forward.
1819 News asked Live Nation for an update on the new amphitheater deal and whether it would be possible for them to manage both venues but received no response.
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