DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Thursday Dallas’ park board opted to forgo discussing the aging Gexa Energy Pavilion at Fair Park—but, the problems aren’t going away. The 20,000 seat amphitheater, which first opened in 1988, is showing its age.
“When you go to a concert, you want the whole experience,” customer Elexis Edwards said, adding, “and I just don’t feel like you can really get that out there.”
Edwards said her recent concert going experiences have been less than ideal. She said everything from the small, outdated restrooms to the sub-par concessions were disappointing. Recent online reviews have also been harsh.
Adam M. of Arlington went online to call Gexa a “sub-par venue” saying it reminded him of a “dirty military bunker. His post said there was, “Concrete everywhere, dilapidated seats, bathrooms and concession stands.”
Sheila D. of Grapevine added that the venue’s “upkeep and aesthetics… have really deteriorated.”
Their assessments get no argument from city officials. “It is an outdated facility,” admitted Daniel Huerta, Fair Park’s Executive General Manager.
Even Huerta acknowledged the venue’s ‘to do’ list is long. “Everything needs a fresh coat of paint, sound systems, video message boards just a lot of improvements that are needed to improve the fan experience to keep fans coming back.”
But, absent a city bond program, Huerta says there’s just no city cash available to make the much needed upgrades. So park operators are hoping to strike a deal with Los Angeles based Live Nation, their concert operating partner.
Live Nation would pay the upfront tab for making some $6.5 million in improvements, in exchange for $500,000 annual rent credit.
Huerta said, “If we don’t invest in our infrastructure people seek elsewhere to go spend their entertainment dollars.”
And Elexis Edwards, already has. “If there was the same concert somewhere else, I’d pay more to go somewhere else.”
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