White Oak Event Space

Construction is underway Wednesday at the new event space near the White Oak Amphitheater. The White Oak Event Space will be an adjacent 20,000-square-foot multipurpose indoor venue for live music and other events.

GREENSBORO — When singer-songwriter Elvis Costello brings his concert tour to the city on Nov. 2, he will perform at the White Oak Event Space in the Greensboro Coliseum complex.

Not the White Oak Amphitheatre, the outdoor venue at the complex’s southern end.

What the coliseum now calls the White Oak Event Space will be an adjacent 20,000-square-foot multipurpose indoor venue for live music and other events.

The coliseum complex and Live Nation entertainment company have partnered on the project, Live Nation said in a news release.

A $4 million renovation is underway to transform part of the former Canada Dry plant at 2411 W. Gate City Blvd.

No taxpayer money will go to the renovation, Mayor Nancy Vaughan said.

The site is part of coliseum property, with the Greensboro Convention & Visitors Bureau and the offices for Greensboro Swarm basketball team housed nearby.

“Our staff identified an opportunity in the Piedmont Triad marketplace for a multipurpose venue with a capacity of 2,300,” Matt Brown, coliseum complex managing director, said in the news release.

“The renovation of the former Canada Dry warehouse was a natural setting to create a dynamic space that would have the flexibility to host a wide variety of events and complement White Oak Amphitheatre and our other facilities,” Brown said.

Coliseum staff declined to discuss the project further on Wednesday.

In its news release, Live Nation calls the venue Piedmont Hall. The venue is scheduled to open Sept. 6 with country artist Aaron Lewis in concert.

A year ago, the City Council approved a construction contract for nearly $3.8 million with R.P. Murray, a Kernersville company now known as RPM Partners. Ticketmaster and Spectra Food Services, the coliseum’s catering company, were to cover the cost.

Vaughan called the new venue “very exciting.”

“It allows us to bring in acts that are too small for the coliseum,” she said. “It is a niche that Greensboro currently doesn’t have. ... It allows us to broaden the acts that we’re looking at.”

It also can be rented out for other events, Vaughan said.

Ben Weeden, chief operating officer of Live Nation’s Clubs & Theaters group, called Greensboro “a logical move for us.”

“It is a vibrant music market with a very large population base with demand for a 2,300-capacity-sized venue,” Weeden said in the Live Nation news release. “It will be an amazing experience for both fans and artists.”

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.

It promotes over 25,000 shows in 1,700 venues worldwide with over 20 million in annual attendance.

“Creating great fan experiences with great musical and comedy performers in a place as special as this wonderful building is something we work very hard at,” Weeden said.

The White Oak Event Space will join a complex that 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 Greensboro Swarm plays.

The coliseum also will manage the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts, a 3,000-seat venue scheduled to open downtown in March.

The Tanger 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.

Contact Dawn DeCwikiel-Kane at 336-373-5204 and follow @dawndkaneNR on Twitter.

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