Sparkling and Spacious
OAT Renovation Complete
The concert experience at the Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre (OAT) just got even better with the completion of expanded concessions, restrooms and a wide new concourse that help reduce lines and crowding while improving access to SDSU’s popular outdoor venue. The update adds a wide new entrance on the southwest side of the theatre while replacing cramped, aging structures and portable toilets with sleek, modern facilities.
The enhancements represent the third and final phase of a $5.7-million OAT makeover that has already included a new stage roof, support system and seating. The latest improvements were unveiled to the public March 3 at a near-capacity GreenFest concert.
SDSU second-year student Hannah Pollek approves of the upgrades at the Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre.
Second-year student Hannah Pollek, who had come to see musicians Rob Stone, YG and Wet Lettuce, said she was impressed with the changes. "It's really nice,” observed the mechanical engineering major from Cupertino. “I like how they have it laid out for big crowds.”
Pollek said she had attended a Death Cab for Cutie concert last year where her experience was somewhat different.
"I just remember lots of people all in one area because it wasn't nearly as spacious as this," she recalled. “And we had to use Porta-Potties, which was really unpleasant."
A HUGE IMPROVEMENT
The old concession stands that used to be on a low retaining wall behind the last row of seats have been replaced by a new concession stand that forms a façade for the theatre’s south side. Facing the broad new concourse on the inside, it features 12 service points and more open space for waiting concertgoers.
"It’s a huge improvement,” said Associate Executive Director of Associated Students John Kolek. “The concourse is wide enough where we won't have the big bottlenecks and it allows us more space to do promotional things, sponsorship activations and things which will provide a better experience for the patrons.”
Food Service Associate Jacob Delgado ('11) said new concession equipment at the OAT makes customer service more efficient.
But patrons aren’t the only ones having a better experience. Jacob Delgado (’11) has been working concessions at SDSU since he was an undergrad. He said he felt like “a kid at Christmas” coming into his first night of work in the new concession facility.
“This is awesome,’” Degado said . “Everything is brand-new, never been touched, spic and span, spotless, clean. It's great.
"Everything is a lot more efficient the way it is laid out. Everyone working here loves it.”
Kolek said future plans for the OAT include adding a new sound and lighting system to help cut costs for smaller productions at the venue. That might happen in the next couple of years.
“When you have to bring in the sound and lights it's pretty expensive,” he explained. “That’s what really keeps more student groups from using the theatre, so we will put in a small system for what they need and that will make it much more affordable for the campus."
Approximately $3-million in funding for the OAT renovation came from the 10-year naming agreement with Cal Coast with the remainder paid for by SDSU Associated Students.