On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors approved a new lease for the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium with Berkeley's Another Planet Entertainment. With a lease term of 20 years, the agreement calls for Another Planet to invest $10 million for "acoustic and seating improvements", presenting an awesome opportunity for a cost-free face lift for the city.
Originally built in 1915, the 7,000 capacity auditorium played host to the Democratic Convention of 1920, as well as the Warriors from 1964 to 1967. The auditorium was the city's primary convention center and meeting place until the construction of the Moscone Center in 1981. In 2005, a city report suggested a conversion of the auditorium to a mid-sized concert venue, hoping to divert events from Oakland's Oracle Arena and the HP Pavilion in San Jose. As a concert venue, the auditorium has seen some success hosting concerts for The Dead, Joni Mitchell, The Who, Muse, The Mars Volta, Radiohead, Pearl Jam, Weezer, and Lady GaGa.
Lease payments would start at a base of $100,000 per year, with annual bumps of 2.5%. We can only hope that the renovations manage to coax back Lady GaGa. Well, ok, these people hope, anyway.
Bill Graham Auditorium Lease Moves Forward - [SF Examiner]