PELHAM — On Tuesday, 1819 News approached Pelham Mayor Gary Waters at a Pelham City Council meeting to ask about the city's plans if Live Nation chooses to move forward with a deal that would result in them managing a new amphitheater in North Birmingham instead of Pelham's Oak Mountain Amphitheatre.
Waters said he had no comment about the amphitheater, but he did say the choice for Live Nation to move would ultimately be a "business decision" and that the City of Pelham has thought about what to do in case Live Nation leaves.
However, he declined to go into detail.
When news of the plan to build a new 8,900 to 9,000-seat amphitheater in North Birmingham broke in October, Waters said hearing about it was "like being married for 25 years, and you find out on TV that your wife wants a divorce." He has since been unresponsive to requests for comment about subsequent stories over the phone.
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 and located on the Caraway Hospital site.
Corporate Realty purchased the Caraway Hosptial site 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.
At its last meeting, the Pelham City Council elected to approve a road widening project for Amphitheater Road, which leads to the Oak Mountain Amphitheatre.
The City of Pelham's communications manager, Ainsley Allison, told 1819 News last week that 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.
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 the city was still in communication with Live Nation and that, to her knowledge, the amphitheater move would not impact the new development.
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