First Avenue Gets Behind New Minneapolis Amphitheater

Upper Harbor Terminal Community Performing Arts Center
Courtesy of First Avenue
– Upper Harbor Terminal Community Performing Arts Center
A rendering of the proposed new amphitheater in Northern Minneapolis.

Twin Cities mainstay club First Avenue is putting its name behind a new amphitheater to serve the northern part of the city.

The proposed shed, named the Upper Harbor Terminal Community Performing Arts Center, was designed by SHoP Architects. The site will be converted from a former barge shipping terminal two miles north of downtown Minneapolis, between Lowry Avenue and Camden bridges.

Representatives of First Avenue said Upper Harbor Terminal will have 6,000 fixed seats in a raised steel structure, and the venue itself can scale to 10,000 occupants. During the cold season the venue will also be able to transform into a smaller, enclosed space.

The expansive lawn area surrounding the amphitheater will also function as an open park for public use.

“We have the opportunity here and now to create the first amphitheater within the Minneapolis city-limits, but UHT offers so much more than just an amphitheater,” First Avenue owner Dayna Frank said in a statement. “The Community Performing Arts Center offers a space for diverse entertainment and programming, while also creating green space and riverfront access the majority of the year. A world-class city like Minneapolis deserves a world-class outdoor concert venue. We could not be more excited to be involved in the development of the UHT.”

The venue will be programmed by North Minneapolis nonprofits and ticket sales will support free public programming at the venue. Local youth will be hired for entry-level positions and a Youth Advisory Council will advise on public use of the venue.

The City of Minneapolis, the Park Board and a development team including United Properties, THOR Companies, and First Avenue Productions still need to turn the initial draft proposal from the team into a concept plan after incorporating community input.

First Avenue is certainly a tastemaking club in the Midwest region, as it came in at No. 6 on Pollstar’s 2018 Top 200 Club Venues worldwide ticket sales chart.