By Gaige Davila
Isla Blanca Park received another upgrade from Cameron County, in the form of an open-air amphitheater overlooking the Brazos Santiago Ship Channel. The amphitheater site is in the Dolphin Cove area of Isla Blanca Park. Overall, the project cost $2.1 million, using money from the County Hotel-Motel Venue Tax approved in 2016, and took just over a year to construct, starting in December 2017.
With nearly 41,100 square feet of space, the amphitheater can seat 4,200 people, according to Cameron County: 800 on curved stone blocks under the amphitheater awnings, and 3,400 on the preceding lawn area. GIGNAC Architects, out of Corpus Christi, Texas, was the architectural firm on the amphitheater, with HALFF Associates, based in Richardson, Texas, as the engineering firm. Noble Texas Builders, based in La Feria, Texas, was the General Contractor.
The Cameron County Amphitheater had a soft opening on October 5, just before sunset, with a crowd of over a hundred people. Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevino, Jr., Rev. Sam W. Steele, chaplain of Chapel by the Sea, Cameron County Commissioners, Sofia Benavidez, Precinct 1, Joey Lopez, Precinct 2, and Gus Ruiz, Precinct 4, and South Padre Island Mayor Patrick McNulty, South Padre Island Mayor Pro-Tem Ken Medders and Councilmember Kerry Scwartz, South Padre Island Police Chief Claudine O’Carroll were among the people who attended.
In the amphitheater parking lot was Tacos Frontera’s food truck, Tehuacán Brillante sparkling mineral water, and an Elote stand were set up, where attendees mingled in the shadow of the Cameron County Events Center, which was completed earlier this year. That project cost $5.7 million, also using money from the County Hotel-Motel Tax.
On Saturday, October 12, the amphitheater will host its first concert, featuring Sublime with Rome. The venue’s next concert will feature La Mafia on November 9.