San Diego

Port Approves Lease for San Diego Symphony's Bayside Park Venue

The San Diego Symphony is investing millions of dollars in a new performance venue at Bayside Park behind the convention center.

The Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners granted the organization a lease for their Bayside Performance Park project Thursday.

Since 2004, the symphony has been setting up a temporary venue at the park for concerts. Now, they'll have a more permanent space to host events.

The project is expected to cost at least 45 million dollars and will include performance facilities and public amenities around the park.

“We’re confident concert-goers will love the improved access and state-of-the art stage and sound system, and bayfront visitors will love the new and improved park,” said Chairman Garry Bonelli, Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners.

The approved lease includes an initial 15-year term with four options to extend for a total of up to 50 years.

According to the Port of San Diego, the Bayside Performance Park Project’s components include:

  • A performance stage covered by a tensile structure with superior sound quality – the design complements the design of the Convention Center and downtown skyline;
  • A signature feature of the design is the sunset steps at the back of the performance stage. During non-event hours, the sunset steps will be an additional viewing platform for the public;
  • Sloped lawn with temporary/removable seating open to the public during non-event hours;
  • New, permanent restrooms; a dining and retail pavilion; environmentally sensitive landscaping and lighting; and other public amenities;
  • Widened public promenade around the venue (from 8 to 12 feet) that will remain open to the general public, including during event hours;
  • Visual public art element to be illuminated from within and visible from the exterior of the acoustic shell; and
  • Refurbishment and/or replacement of existing benches, the basketball courts and exercise equipment, gazebo, lighting and restrooms.

Public benefits include:

  • Most of the park to be open to the general public for 85 percent of the year with programming involving paid admission or rental events limited to 15 percent of the year;
  • Four free public events each year, two of which would occur Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day;
  • Open rehearsals for Symphony concerts;
  • Free public educational events;
  • Some reduced ticket pricing at each concert; and a financial contribution by the Symphony toward a future expansion of Pepper Park in National City.
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