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$109 million music venue planned for downtown

Posted at 5:08 PM, Nov 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-06 18:08:42-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Omaha Performing Arts (O-pa) announced plans for a $109 million live music venue on Wednesday.

The facility will be located from Dodge St to Capitol Ave between 11th & 12th St.

Constructing the venue is contingent upon successful fundraising, which is currently in progress. After the project is funded, construction will start in the fall of 2020 with a goal of opening in early 2023.

O-pa says months of study by the board and senior management showed a gap for musical acts who by-pass Omaha due to the lack of a downtown music venue to accommodate their audiences.

“There are a number of up and coming bands, solo performers and artists who are not making a tour stop in Omaha because of the lack of a music venue to meet their unique needs,” said O-pa President Joan Squires. “We believe the Live Music Venue will significantly improve music opportunities available in Omaha, especially for the key audience demographic of 21 to 45 years old. This proposed O-pa campus expansion provides an excellent fit with the renovations underway along the Riverfront, and will further enhance Omaha’s downtown entryway.”

O-pa is working on the building's design with Ennead Architects (formerly Polshek Partnership), original designers of the Holland Center, and Holland Basham Architects of Omaha.

According to O-pa, the venue will serve a standing audience of 1,500 to 3,000 and feature touring performers who connect with "the next generation of audiences."

Along with touring performers, the facility will enable local arts organizations to create and perform.

“The Live Music Venue will strengthen Omaha’s image as a premier artist and entertainment center and make us even more attractive to young adults,” Mayor Jean Stothert said. “This is an exciting project that has the potential to generate significant economic activity and bring many thousands of music fans to downtown Omaha."