Port Canaveral officials have modified their plans for the construction of it’s outdoor entertainment venue – the Port’s amphitheater.

“Construction will begin in December 2013 and should finish around the end of 2014,” said David Perley, Senior Director of Construction & Infrastructure at Port Canaveral.

Port Canaveral will open its $21 million, 22,000-square-foot Welcome Center this fall. To the east of the Welcome Center the Port’s amphitheater will offer a variety of uses, including concerts and sporting events. (Port Canaveral Image)

Port Canaveral will open its $21 million, 22,000-square-foot Welcome Center this fall. To the east of the Welcome Center the Port’s amphitheater will offer a variety of uses, including concerts and sporting events. (Port Canaveral Image)

“The first concert could be in early 2015.”

The Port’s adjustment of the amphitheater plan has occurred due to the original, more elaborate plan, threatening higher costs than originally anticipated.

The original cost was estimated at $8 million, but bids came in at around $15 million, so Port commissioners have adjusted their plans, and expectations, for the project.

The facility will have a full stage, a canopy-covered, concrete area, suitable for 4,000 seats, which will also be suitable for mixed uses like basketball, volleyball, tennis, arts and crafts shows, graduation ceremonies, simulcasts, swap meets and more.

We’re not experts in entertainment, so we have listened to people who are experts,” said Port CEO, John Walsh at the recent State of the Port address.

There are many local promoters who have shown an interest in staging future events at the Port.

Giles Malone, whose company, Brevard Production Inc., has successfully produced over 150 national-level concerts in locations across Brevard over the past 25 years, including bands like The Beach Boys, Santana, Willie Nelson and Charlie Daniels, thinks that the Port’s plan is well conceived.

The Port is being very prudent in being careful as this project evolves,” said Malone.

“Their (Port) plan to create a large facility for 4,000-6,000 people that can be used for many different types of events is ideal for that terrific location,” said Malone.

“There can be many types of revenue streams, from all kinds of events and the more flexible the space, the better. Theoretically, with the plan that they are developing, they could host a graduation on a Friday night for 3,000 people, a concert with the Beach Boys on Saturday night with 4,000 people and a basketball event on Sunday with hundreds of players and spectators, who would all also enjoy the great hotels, restaurants, shops and retail that the Port and surrounding area has to offer,” said Malone.

“That mixed-use flexibility can make the venue a tremendous asset for the Space Coast at large.”