19,000-person amphitheater proposed for Canterbury Park grounds

Canterbury Park is partnering up with Minneapolis-based Swervo Development Corporation to propose a 19,000-person outdoor concert venue in Shakopee. 

"This will be the largest outdoor amphitheater in this area and it’s something that I believe this area has really been needing," Canterbury CEO Randy Sampson told FOX 9. 

Canterbury is proposing selling around 40 acres of their property just east of the race track to Swervo to develop the venue. Swervo previously worked on the renovation of The Armory in downtown Minneapolis. The proposed amphitheater space would hold a similar number of people as the Target Center in Minneapolis or the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. 

"The same types of acts that would play Target center or Xcel would be playing here," Sampson said. "this is going to be a major entertainment attraction." 

The space is currently an open field Sampson says they’ve been hanging on to, waiting for the right development opportunity. As part of the amphitheater redevelopment project, Canterbury would have to reconfigure some of their barns and stables. That renovation is considered part of the project and proposal. 

The project still needs to get approval from the Shakopee City Council before Swervo and Canterbury can move forward. In a statement, Shakopee Mayor Bill Mars said ""We welcome the news about Canterbury Park’s further investment in its horse racing operations and look forward to starting the city review process for Swervo's amphitheater proposal, which has tremendous potential to provide additional entertainment choices and boost our local economy." 

One of the challenges Canterbury and their development partners could face is the question of whether the infrastructure in the area (roads leading into the venue, traffic congestion concerns) could handle a venue of this size. 

It’s still unclear when this proposal could go in front of Shakopee city leaders for approval.