The Shell surrounded by boats on the San Diego Bay

Sneak Preview of The Shell℠

Outdoor music with wine and a view of the bay? Yes, please. 

Located on the San Diego Bay and a five-minute walk from our San Diego Convention Center is The Shell℠, a stunning outdoor venue and public park slated to open in 2021. For years, the San Diego Symphony has been working with the Port of San Diego to develop this space as a year-round, permanent destination for performances and events.

The Symphony’s team recently provided a walk-through of the site, from the spacious promenades to the 13,000-square-foot performance stage to state-of-the art kitchens. With culinary partners like Chef Richard Blais, Lola 55, and BIGA, The Shell’s food and beverage options will be varied, flavorful, and so San Diego. The upscale “Blais by the Bay” menu sounds amazing—and they assured me that if you simply want a hot dog and a draft beer to pair with your flip-flops, you’ll be able to get that, too.

Read on for a behind-the-scenes look at the site and construction progress.

A year-round, permanent destination for performances and events. 

The turf lawn in front of The Shell

With room for up to 10,000 guests, turf-top terraced seating will include tables (for 2, 4, or 6 guests), single seats, and lawn seats.

Group of staff in hard hats in front of The Shell’s stage

Inside the covered stage, crews are finishing installing and testing the audio systems. The stage will host the San Diego Symphony Orchestra and a diverse slate of guest artists.

Construction vehicles in front of The Shell and the San Diego Convention Center

From the lawn to the stage, performers and visitors can see our Convention Center’s iconic Sails Pavilion.

View from The Shell’s stage to the turf lawn

An expanse of unobstructed sight lines. If outdoor events make you shudder at the thought of a porta-potty, do not fear—The Shell will debut with indoor restroom facilities.

Bobby Ramirez points out the partially constructed cafe

Centerplate General Manager Bobby Ramirez points out the locations for food and beverage services. In addition to hosting public and ticketed events, the venue will be available for a select number of private events each year.

View of the Coronado Bridge and a sailboat on the San Diego Bay

The location offers views of sunsets, sailboats and—eventually!—an illuminated San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge. As part of the broader Embarcadero Marina Park, a viewing deck at the back of the performance stage will be open to the public during non-event hours.

See the San Diego Symphony’s website for ongoing updates about The Shell. In the meantime, let’s stay vigilant to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and aim for a summer of fun in ’21.

Authored by Maren Dougherty

Maren Dougherty is the San Diego Convention Center's Executive Director of Marketing & Communications. When she isn't writing articles or talking to media, you can find her enjoying San Diego's climate. She loves running through neighborhoods, visiting Balboa Park, and relaxing at San Diego's beautiful beaches.

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