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Auditorium Shores Could Get $3.5 Million for Upgrades

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 04:12 PM CDT

More than $3 million worth of upgrades could be coming to one of Austin’s most popular spots. Later this morning, Austin City Council members are expected to vote on whether to make major changes to Auditorium Shores.

They are expected to decide whether to accept a $3.5 million donation from C3 Presents, the organizer of Austin City Limits Music Festival, to improve the park. The city would work with C3 and Austin Parks Foundation to renovate event space, put in a new off-leash area, realign the trail and irrigation, and put in new turfgrass for the event lawn and nearby areas. They’re hoping to start this September but they say that means closing Auditorium Shores for a year, though the hike and bike trail would stay open with detours.

"You get a real feel for what Austin's all about,” said Devin Lee, of Austin, who’s been to Fun Fun Fun Fest. “It's unfortunate they're going to take that down."

"I don't feel like they need to make improvements actually,” said Jonathan David Cheavans, of Austin, who goes to festivals at Auditorium Shores. “I think it's a nice place, and I think the grass looks like and the view looks great. I can't imagine what they would change."

That closure would mean those big events like South By Southwest and Fun Fun Fun Fest, not to mention numerous triathlons and other sporting events, would need to find a new temporary home. Several of the main races, including triathlons on Memorial Day and Labor Day, will move to the Palmer Events Center, just down the road. However, the sites of the big music festivals are still up in the air. Walter E. Long Park, the Travis County Expo Center, and the Circuit of the Americas have all been named as possible locations.

If the plan is approved, while construction happens, the city will also be renovating the main trailhead and developing the Alliance Children’s Garden.

Austin City Council will meet starting at 10 a.m. Thursday at City Hall.

Auditorium Shores Could Get $3.5 Million for Upgrades

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