Replacing The Gibson Amphitheatre?

NBC Universal recently released a statement about committing to tourism and film/TV production in Los Angeles.

Buried deep within it was a mention regarding Universal Studios Hollywood theme park and “the option to replace the amphitheatre with a smaller venue and a new 500-room hotel.”

That would be the four-walled Gibson Amphitheatre, which recently hosted four sold-out Pearl Jam concerts. The arena at Universal CityWalk, run by veteran GM Rick Merrill, is a valued stop on most national tours, which makes an option to replace it surprising.

John Vlautin, spokesman for venue operator Live Nation, told Pollstar the single sentence in the long press release is not an immediate concern to the company.

“We have six years remaining on our lease, so nothing is imminent,” Vlautin said.

Vlautin had discussed the matter with Universal, and was told that the option to replace the amphitheatre is part of a 20-year plan that Universal expects to put in front of city officials. The plan needs to be approved en toto, which means the Gibson is not going away, just something the company wanted to have as an option.

Universal was not as forthcoming.

“Everything is in the statement,” an NBC Universal spokesman told Pollstar.