Every year, the San Diego Opera puts on a series of free outdoor concerts in front of the Civic Theatre downtown.
With the impending opening of Horton Plaza Park – the revamped plaza in front of Westfield Horton Plaza mall – the opera’s director of education and community engagement, Nicolas Reveles, looked into moving the free concert program over to the new park. He’d read the city had plans to hold more than 200 events there every year.
“There are a lot more people walking in and out of the shopping center than Civic Theatre,” Reveles said. “So we thought it would be a good move for us.”
But when Reveles got a quote back from Westfield, the company that owns the mall and will operate the park for the next 25 years under a public-private partnership agreement with the city, he was taken aback. It would cost more than $5,000 to rent the space out – and that was the discounted rate.