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Surprise: Early Reaction to New Palm Springs Arena Includes Parking, Traffic Concerns

AHLEvery new venue proposal inevitably generates concerns from locals about the impact on parking and increased traffic snarls. That’s the case after Oak View Group and a local Indian tribe proposed a new Palm Springs arena.

Oak View Group (OVG) and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians announced plans for a privately financed venue on downtown tribal land. Also signed on as a strategic partner: Live Nation Entertainment, which will supply the new Palm Springs arena with live events. The arena will be built for conventions, large meetings, international events, as well as award shows and exhibitions. Located on 16 acres of tribal land, the arena will be more than 300,000 square feet and feature as many as 10,000 seats or more and include modern amenities such as suites and premium hospitality clubs. The arena will include an adjoining facility that will serve as a year-round community gathering space as well as the training center for an AHL team. 

For Palm Springs (population: 47,689) and Riverside County (population: 2.42 million), this is a pretty major development. While Riverside County is the eighth-largest county in California, Palm Springs is relatively small: a tony enclave, to be sure. So the proposal for a $250-million arena/entertainment complex in downtown Palm Springs may be a little jarring, to be sure. From the Desert Sun:

“So many people come here from L.A. and San Diego for the small-town atmosphere with the big-town flavor,” said Steve Orozco, a 40-year resident of the Coachella Valley who currently resides in South Palm Springs. Orozco said a seasonal hockey team could draw locals, but hosting too many musical acts might congest the streets year-round….

But for Yasmin Aguilar-Lopez, 26, who just moved to the valley last summer from Oxnard, the musicians who play at the valley’s existing venues don’t appeal to her and her friends.

“I want something that would appeal to a younger audience,” she said. “I feel like the people they bring out here is for an older crowd.”

While she’s excited about the potential for more concerts, Aguilar-Lopez wondered if the possible increase in traffic would be worth it. She said dealing with the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival once a year is enough.

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