Since its inception in 1886, Coney Island, featuring the Sunlite Pool since 1925, has been an iconic attraction. The park disclosed earlier this month that it has been acquired by Music & Event Management Inc. (MEMI), a subsidiary of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. MEMI also manages neighboring venues such as Riverbend Music Center, Andrew J Brady Music Center, and Taft Theatre downtown.
With MEMI in charge of the venue, Coney Island will be turned into a music venue.
“We have been proud to provide a place where so many wonderful memories were created for families. We thank the millions of patrons and employees from Cincinnati and surrounding neighborhoods. You made this a special place for all of us. But the time has come for this historic destination to offer new and different options for entertainment-seekers looking for fun and unique experiences,” the park said in a press release. “While this was a difficult decision, we have the utmost confidence that MEMI and the CSO will bring new excitement to one of Greater Cincinnati’s most treasured locations,” the park said in a press release.
In a second press release, MEMI said the $118-million music venue will be state-of-the-art and a “first of its kind.” CSO president and CEO Jonathan Martin and MEMI CEO Mike Smith said the organization is shooting for the top of the charts with the venue, focusing on turning it into “the nation’s best amphitheater” and a must-play destination for the music industry’s top artists.
“We are building a new home for live music events that will offer a mesmerizing fusion of cutting-edge technology and architectural significance,” Martin said in the release. “This new development will usher in the future of the music industry, and we are proud to be leading the next step in the same way Riverbend changed the face of live music in our community 40 years ago when it opened. Now, with CSO’s historic success with Riverbend and PNC Pavilion, we are creating an expanded music, arts and entertainment campus for the region to drive artistic excellence and innovation as well as the local economy.”
In addition to cutting-edge performance and entertainment technology, MEMI says the venue will also feature high-quality guest amenities, an architecturally stunning facility and an adaptable seating arrangement.
The yet-to-be-named venue’s preliminary design is in progress, with many key elements undecided.
“Cincinnati’s new music, arts and entertainment campus will bring us into an exciting future while acknowledging our proud history,” Smith said in the release. “We are considering how to incorporate contemporarily appropriate and historically significant acknowledgments to the history of the location.”