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Port of San Diego Advances Bayside Performance Park Enhancement Project Proposed by the San Diego Symphony

Jan 12, 2018 09:10AM ● Published by Paul Spear

Port of San Diego Advances Bayside Performance Park Enhancement Project Proposed by the San Diego Symphony

About the San Diego Symphony:
Founded in 1910, the San Diego Symphony is the oldest orchestra in California and one of the largest and most significant cultural organizations in San Diego. The Orchestra performs for over 250,000 people each season, offering a wide variety of programming at its two much loved venues, Copley Symphony Hall in downtown San Diego and the Embarcadero Marina Park South on San Diego Bay. The orchestra’s 82 full-time musicians, graduates of the finest and most celebrated music schools in the United States and abroad, also serve as the orchestra for the San Diego Opera each season, as well as performing at several regional performing arts centers. For over 30 years, the San Diego Symphony has provided comprehensive music education and community engagement programs reaching more than 65,000 students annually and bringing innovative programming to San Diego’s diverse neighborhoods and schools. For more information, visit

In support of efforts to inspire residents and visitors by providing unique experiences on San Diego Bay, the Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners has voted to advance the San Diego Symphony’s Bayside Performance Park Enhancement Project, proposed for the Port’s Embarcadero Marina Park South.

“The San Diego Symphony has a great track record with the Port and is a pillar of the San Diego arts community,” said Chairman Rafael Castellanos, Board of Port Commissioners. “Their proposal to invest $45 million in improvements, including many public amenities and better performance facilities, strikes a new and wonderful chord on our dynamic waterfront, honors the water and creates a dynamic new place on our beautiful San Diego Bay for the public to enjoy.”

At its January 9, 2018 meeting, the Board approved several items to advance the proposed project, including certification of the Final Environmental Impact Report, approval of a Port Master Plan Amendment (PMPA), and approval of a binding Letter of Intent (LOI) with the San Diego Symphony (Symphony).
"I want to express my deepest appreciation to the Port, Port staff and to everyone who has supported us through this process,” said Martha Gilmer, San Diego Symphony CEO. "From the very beginning, our vision has been to create a beautiful park with a state of the art stage that could become an iconic destination for San Diego and beyond. We think of this as our gift to the region." 
The Symphony proposes to construct a permanent outdoor performance and event venue in Embarcadero Marina Park South where the nonprofit organization has operated a Bayside Summer Nights (formerly Summer Pops) concert series since 2004. Each year in the park, the Symphony assembles and disassembles a music festival-style stage, bleachers, seating, ticketing booths, concession stands, food stands, portable bathrooms, a chain-link fence and other items for the summer season.
The proposed Bayside Performance Park would allow the Symphony to offer a limited number of performances and events year-round by replacing the temporary performance and event venue with a permanent stage and acoustic shell; audience seating would still be provided with temporary chairs set up as needed, based on the size of the event. In addition, the Symphony would improve the park at no public cost with new, permanent upscale public restrooms; extensive public park enhancements throughout the park; a wider promenade around the performance area; a new bay viewing deck available for public use during non-event hours; and other public amenities.

Port staff will now seek certification of the PMPA by the California Coastal Commission. In the meantime, Port staff will enter into a binding LOI with the Symphony and commence negotiations for a Real Estate Agreement.

About the Port of San Diego:
The Port of San Diego serves the people of California as a specially created district, balancing multiple uses on 34 miles along San Diego Bay spanning five cities. Collecting no tax dollars, the Port manages a diverse portfolio to generate revenues that support vital public services and amenities.

The Port champions Maritime, Waterfront Development, Public Safety, Experiences and Environment, all focused on enriching the relationship people and businesses have with our dynamic waterfront. From cargo and cruise terminals to hotels and restaurants, from marinas to museums, from 22 public parks to countless events, the Port contributes to the region’s prosperity and remarkable way of life on a daily basis.\

Contact: Brianne Page O: 619.686.6243 C: 619.348.1518

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Paul Spear, Publisher, and Editor of Dig Imperial Beach 



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