GREENSBORO — The Greensboro Coliseum complex has opened a new venue.
City officials cut the ribbon Thursday on the club-style, multipurpose Piedmont Hall.
Until its opening, the coliseum had called it the White Oak Event Space.
The coliseum turned part of the former Canada Dry bottling plant at 2409 W. Gate City Blvd. into the 20,000-square-foot indoor space for live music and other events.
Located adjacent to the outdoor White Oak Amphitheatre, Piedmont Hall can fit 2,300 people in its open floor plan, with multiple levels that allow for different configurations.
Patrons will stand for general-admission concerts. Those in the raised VIP area can sit on stools.
“Is this not a phenomenal building or what?” Mayor Nancy Vaughan asked the assembled crowd before the ribbon-cutting.
It will open tonight with country artist Aaron Lewis and the Stateliners in concert and Ben Danaher as special guest.
No taxpayer money went to the $4 million renovation.
Live Nation/Ticketmaster and Spectra Food Services, the coliseum’s catering company, covered the cost, coliseum Managing Director Matt Brown said.
Live Nation’s Clubs & Theaters division owns, operates and books landmark clubs and theaters throughout the world, including such legendary U.S. venues as The Wiltern in Los Angeles and The Tabernacle in Atlanta, as well as the House of Blues and Fillmore venues.
Piedmont Hall will help the city’s efforts to attract and retain younger people, Brown said.
It will attract larger bands that can’t play some of the smaller local venues, he said.
It also will play a role in hosting pre- and post-tournament tailgating festivities during three weeks in March, when the coliseum will host the women’s and men’s ACC basketball tournaments and then six first- and second-round games of the men’s NCAA basketball tournament, Brown said.
Its amenities include state-of-the-art sound and lights, concession stands, premium bar service, an outdoor patio area and connected dining space. It meets Americans with Disabilities Act requirements for accessibility.
Patron parking is available in the lots that serve the coliseum complex.
That complex also includes the coliseum’s 22,000-seat arena, 5,000-capacity Special Events Center, the 7,000-capacity amphitheater, 300-seat Odeon Theatre, The Terrace banquet room, the Greensboro Aquatic Center and The Fieldhouse, where the basketball team Greensboro Swarm plays.
“It is that niche space that we need here in Greensboro,” Vaughan said of Piedmont Hall.
Another venue to be managed by the coliseum will open downtown in March: the 3,000-seat Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts.
The Tanger Center’s style differs from Piedmont Hall. That performing arts center will host touring Broadway productions and concerts, Guilford College’s Bryan Series speakers, Greensboro Symphony Orchestra performances, a Greensboro Opera production, comedy shows and family entertainment.
The Tanger Center will cost $90 million — $85 million for the project itself and $5 million in bond-related financing costs — shared by the city and private donors, and no taxpayer dollars, Brown said.
The coliseum already has booked several events at Piedmont Hall, including singer-songwriter Elvis Costello on Nov. 2.
Most events — but not all — are concerts. Some will be arranged by promoters other than Live Nation. Diamond Life Concerts, for example, booked singer and musician PJ Morton on Oct. 26.
UB40 Featuring Ali Campbell and Astro will play there on Sept. 13; jam band Umphrey’s McGee on Sept. 19, hard rock band Tesla on Sept. 21, metal band In This Moment on Sept. 28, heavy metal band Black Label Society on Oct. 12, and country singer and reality television personality Chase Rice on Oct. 17.
It will host a Community Housing Solutions Ambassadors Breakfast on Nov. 19.
Decarlos Kinds, chairwoman of the coliseum commission, cut the ribbon with Vaughan and City Council member Nancy Hoffmann.
“It is amazing that they took a defunct building and turned it into a venue that will make money so quickly,” Kinds said.
After the ribbon-cutting, those in the audience checked out the new venue.
Among them was Justin Trujillo, Greensboro Swarm communications manager. It shares office space next door with the Greensboro Sports Foundation.
Trujillo liked what he saw, adding, “Can I have my birthday party here?”