Suffolk Downs Updates Plans to Be an Outdoor Entertainment Venue

At a recent community meeting HYM’s Andrew Townsend gave the community a bit more information on HYM’s plans for turning a portion of Suffolk Downs into an outdoor entertainment venue through 2025.

With construction set to begin on the Beachmont Revere side of the Suffolk Downs mixed use development project, HYM filed a Notice of Intent (NOI) recently with the Boston Conservation Commission (BCC) of their plans to create an interim outdoor entertainment venue, associated infrastructure, and other related site improvements.

The entire outdoor venue will be located in a portion of the existing racetrack infield area and will consist of a grassed area with temporary stage, restrooms, and vendor booths to remain in place until late 2025.

“We’ve partnered with “The Bowery Presents”, which is a first class promoter, on the venue,” said Townsend. “We see this venue as continuing the long tradition of arts or music and entertainment on the site.”

Over the historic span of the thoroughbred racetrack, Suffolk Downs hosted big name bands and events including The Beatles in 1966 and Cirque du Soleil. 

“The Bowery Presents is a leading East Coast promoter,” said Townsend. “They manage 18 indoor and outdoor venues in the Northeast primarily in New York City, Boston and Philadelphia. Locally they own and operate the Roadrunner, which just opened last week, as well as the Sinclair in Harvard Square. They also handled bookings for Royale as well as shows at the TD Garden, the Boch Center and the Agganis Arena as well as other venues. So they are well known in Boston and put on some really good shows in the city.”

Townsend said The Bowery Presents will be responsible for all venue operations, talent booking, production, promotion, etc.

Townsend said the venue will be able to hold a maximum capacity of 8,500 attendants through mainly general admission ticket sales with VIP seating areas.

“The venue season will be June through October,” said Tiownsend. “However, this year we likely will not start in June but it’ll be later in August or September. The proposed timeline for the venue is starting this summer and going to at least 2025. Right now we’re hoping to do eight shows for this year in 2022 and then in subsequent years 20 or more shows.”

Townsend said shows will be mainly in the evening and end by 10:30 pm.

“I just want to touch on transportation,” said Townsend. “So people attending the concerts or the events will take a couple of different forms of transport to the site. We’ll have on site parking for about 1,000 vehicles or so. Patrons could travel here by MBTA and an MBTA bus will run through the site as well. We will also be dedicating specific pickup and drop off areas within our site for rideshares.”

As far as sound mitigation for residents that abut the Suffolk Downs property, Townsend said HYM will engage with sound sound engineer to assist in minimizing the sound impact to the neighborhood.

“The stage has been strategically oriented to point sound away from the residential neighborhoods, concerts will be done by 10:30 pm and security will also be present throughout the venue as well as in the parking lot for crowd management and dispersal after the shows.”

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