Red Hat Amphitheater and Outdoor Music

Let us not also forget the coming redevelopment of Heritage Park, which hopefully will be at least 3x more ambitious than what has been shown so far.


I choose to ignore this entire plan - hoping that the actual proposal will be much much better.


Just put Red Hat on the roof of the new CC. Orient it properly, Build with INTENTION as part of the expansion, using common infrastructure like escalators, rest rooms & concessions. Think DIFFERENT & UNIQUE, which could draw patrons for the experience of concerts elevated 5-6 levels up, with 360° view of the skyline. Raleigh’s climate supports outdoor activity.


That may be worth considering, but I susupect that putting the amphitheater on the roof of the CC, or specifically the emergency egress requirements for said amphitheater, would wind up being the tail wagging the dog for the site program of the entire convention center expansion. Being able to clear out 6,000 patrons, plus staff, in an emergency, from a rooftop, in addition to the thousands of people who might also be inside the convention center itself, is not an easy or cheap problem to solve. Not to mention it makes it a lot harder to get to and from the amphitheater before and after a concert.

Better IMO to use this tricky parcel of land trapped in (essentially) the median of a highway. Amphitheaters are best at ground level.


Or do a combo tennis stadium / concert venue like Credit One Stadium in Charleston on this block.


Like Forest Hills in Queens! Great venues


I’m very glad to hear that the city has listened to what seems like pretty clear feedback that Raleigh citizens would like Red Had Amphitheater to stay downtown, although the phrasing of “the current plan is to keep the site in downtown” is pretty vague and non-committal. I have always strongly disliked the idea of removing Red Hat from the actual downtown and putting it in Dix Park. In its current location, you can actually make a night of it and walk to eat, go to a show, get drinks afterward. Most people just aren’t going to do that at Dix, and we have multiple music venues to drive to. Hopefully when they build the new one, it will have a better “feel” than the current one which you can tell was made to be only semi-permanent.

To me, spending hundreds of millions of dollars on a convention center expansion doesn’t seem to make a lot of financial sense. Is that really the best ROI? The current convention center loses money and a larger one will presumably lose even more money as a larger facility to operate and staff. It is nice that Raleigh has one and I have been to multiple events there, but I really question the marginal return on all those dollars spent.

I’d be curious to see the costs of Red Hat vs the Convention Center and how their finances compare on an ongoing basis. Does Red Hat actually make money? We know the convention center loses money.


It’s not just about the convention center making money. The primary measure of success is to attribute convention annual attendance to a healthy hospitality industry where hotel occupancy is high, and out of town dollars spent at hotels, restaurants, entertainment, shopping venues, rental car outlets, etc., all flow on a regular basis. These facts are reported as “economic impact” – a result of event attendee and event organizer spending. Attendee spending refers to additional expenditure within a city from event‐related visitors such as exhibitors and attendees. For events, attendee spending forms the major component of economic impact. Collectively, attendee and organizer spending in the host city are directly attributable to event production and is termed direct economic impact . All cities however, report indirect and induced spending and add this estimate to direct economic impact. Indirect impact or effects are the changes in sales, income or jobs in sectors within the region that supply goods and services to the hospitality sector. You really need to measure all of the impacts and not just a simple losing money thus it is a failure.


MY hope for Dix would be things like happen on the Polo Fields in Golden Gate park…ie Festival(s)…
A permanent, highly functioning Red Hat would be awesome on its own or in addition to a festival set up as it has shown previously…
Still, I’d like to see the shimmer wall while enjoying the show (and, yes, I can enjoy the shimmer wall before and after the show…) :blush:

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Yes, I get all that. But what kind of a job does the convention center actually do with driving that kind of revenue now? Has it hit or exceeded its original targets to such a degree that it now justifies increased expenditures? How many nights in hotels and marginal spending has it created during its lifetime so far? It looks like pre-pandemic, it was hitting 400-460K yearly in attendance. How many of those folks were from out of town and how do those numbers compare with the original estimates?

As the article says, it seems like convention centers all over fighting over a smaller pie, so whatever it was doing before is going to be even harder now. In that environment is an expansion the right thing to double-down on? And my point about losing money is that once you build that infrastructure, it isn’t just the initial cost, you have to continue paying to maintain and staff it. Are there other investments the city could make that would have a better overall ROI?

I’m just not sure if tourism is one of Raleigh’s strengths, and I’m not sure spending hundreds of millions of dollars on a bigger convention center is going to drive enough incremental increase on convention visitors to justify the cost. Raleigh is a great place to live, but if I’m putting together a convention, I’d rather go somewhere with better scenery, a historic, walkable downtown, access to the water, more live music, etc. I just wonder if we are paying to try to keep up with cities that are more naturally appealing to visitors.


the events i saw at the rcc (large boat show coming up) and cheerleading contest don’t seem applicable to red hats outdoor stuff.

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I’m well rounded. I’ve been to both the convention center and the amphitheater.
…now just waiting for GucciLittlePig to call me fat.


That would beautiful downtown needs more illumination.

There were people who thought similarly to you a few decades ago who didn’t want our current Convention Center. They were fine with the status quo of the past with doing only small conventions in the middle of Fayetteville St. But Raleigh persevered and built our current facility and now we can do the medium sized conventions. Forward thinking leaders knew even back then that the day would come when expansion was needed to move toward the next level. Funding was approved back in 2016. The question is should we stick to the status quo of the past? Or do we move forward with expansion and compete with the big boys? Past or future?


Seems like a large or very large amphitheater in Dix and a smaller one the size of Red Hat would be just fine. Both can exist. We wouldn’t need Walnut Creek anymore of course.


I already don’t need walnut creek. That place is the worst logistically, location wise, and just in general. I wish all the bands would just do PNC Arena. Super walkable. For me.


What about the new venue coming to DTSouth?
Or is that a different type of venue? :thinking:

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Think the DTS venue intent is smaller capacity than Red Hat and hopefully serves to kick the can on the Ritz ( or be an alternative that creates the impetus to renovate the Ritz in conjunction with the ‘Crabtree CreekSide District’ ) :face_with_hand_over_mouth:


Ha! Jinx- just posted pics in the other (Convention Center) thread

Man the cops in Burke County should come to Wake County. If 84 mph gets you arrested, the jails would be overflowing.