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Omaha's newest $103 million concert venue gets a name

Omaha's newest $103 million concert venue gets a name

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The planned $103 million concert venue for downtown Omaha has a name: Steelhouse Omaha.

The facility, which will hold 1,500 to 3,000 people when it opens in 2023, is already under construction. Omaha Performing Arts and city officials announced the name during a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday morning at the former parking lot between Dodge Street and Capitol Avenue, east of 12th Street.

Steelhouse Omaha will offer a midrange concert venue, larger than the Orpheum Theater and smaller than the CHI Health Center. It is across Dodge Street from the Holland Performing Arts Center.

“Once open, Steelhouse Omaha will transform our city’s music scene, drawing fans from across the region to enjoy a wide variety of music options,” O-pa President Joan Squires said in a press release.

Officials said the lack of fixed seating at Steelhouse Omaha should help attract in-demand musical artists who otherwise might not consider the city for their concert tour schedules.

“There is no space with this capacity and this style anywhere in our community,” Squires told reporters.

The venue’s name will be in reference to its exterior siding. But it won’t be made out of pure steel.

Rather, New York City architect Stephen Chu said, the building’s siding will consist of aluminum coated with a steel finish. According to Chu, aluminum weighs less than steel and won’t corrode.

“The metal paneling on the exterior still gives that industrial feel,” he said.

Officials said the venue’s flexibility will provide local artists and organizations opportunities to offer programs in nontraditional formats.

“Arts and culture play a tremendous role in the identity of our city,” Mayor Jean Stothert said. “This venue too is part of a new future for downtown Omaha.”

The $103 million price tag, which includes $1.1 million from the city, represents a $6 million decrease from the original $109 million estimate.

“We worked very hard with our design team to get to the final figure of $103 million. We realized efficiencies. We’re making sure we’re providing not just a wonderful building but a cost-effective one as well,” Squires said.

In a press release, O-pa officials said a University of Nebraska-Lincoln study projected Steelhouse Omaha will draw 155,000 more people downtown and add $13 million in annual economic impact.

The concert venue was announced 18 months ago, and Kiewit Building Group began site preparation work last summer.


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