Bonney Field Could Become Music Venue

Bonney Field

Though the Sacramento Republic FC may be leaving in a few years, Bonney Field looks like it will reemerge as a viable music venue.

Bonney Field was built in 2014 as the host of Sacramento Republic FC. While it has attracted some big crowds during the franchise’s run in the USL, the stadium is unlikely to continue as the team’s home. Sacramento Republic FC is making a case to join the MLS, with one of the centerpieces of its bid being a state-of-the-art, 25,000 seat soccer facility in downtown Sacramento. With Sacramento Republic FC confident in the likelihood of joining the MLS,the chances of that stadium becoming a reality are increasing.

That would of course leave Bonney Field–which was built as a more temporary structure than the proposed stadium–without a major draw. However, it appears to be properly conditioned for a new era as an outdoor music space.

The location of Bonney Field has an interesting history, as it was once home to Cal Expo Amphitheater. Cal Expo Amphitheater was a destination for large outdoor concerts for 15 years, before it was shut down in 1998 due to noise restrictions.

Some of the problems that led to the Cal Expo Amphitheater’s closing have been addressed over the years, allowing Bonney Field to host concerts in its current form. With a working formula in place, stadium officials believe that it will continue to attract major acts for years. More from Comstock’s:

“Bonney Field was always meant to be more than just a soccer stadium and I’m very excited for the opportunities we have here,” says Bonney Field General Manager Eric Blockie, whose company, Comcast Spectra, has secured a long-term contract to operate the facility. “I think we’re in for a great ride.”

One of the area’s biggest annual multi-act festivals, City of Trees, is set to draw up to 12,000 fans to Bonney Field on Sept. 10 when bands such as Weezer, and Panic! at the Disco take the stage. Pop violinist/singer/dancer Lindsey Stirling has been added as a half-house show (6,000 capacity) for Sept. 24. Other acts are set to be announced soon, Blockie says.

Getting the popular City of Trees festival — held last year at Gibson Ranch, where it was a logistical nightmare — was a major score for the venue. Blockie, who worked as a GM for Bill Graham Presents, notes that with its movable stage, Bonney Field could be configured to hold anywhere from 4,000 fans to almost 30,000 for a single show or multi-act event, making it unique in Sacramento’s concert landscape.

It will likely take until at least 2019 for Sacramento Republic FC to join the MLS, giving Bonney Field a few more years as a soccer venue before it begins a new phase.

Image courtesy Sacramento Republic FC. 

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