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Demolition of Canterbury horse barns makes way for new amphitheater

The open-air amphitheater is expected to be a destination for live music when it opens in 2025.

SHAKOPEE, Minn. — Several major music shows were announced Monday, including the first-ever Twin Cities Summer Fest at Target Field this July.

Canterbury Park Holding Corporation announced it completed the sale of 37 acres of land to Bloomington Investments, an entity related to Swervo Development for $8.8 million. The land sold is in the northeast corner of Canterbury's campus. With the land sale and government approvals complete, Swervo is planning to start construction on the amphitheater this spring.

"Early on, we were thinking, this is never going to happen," said Canterbury Park's Vice President of Real Estate Jason Haugen. "And here we are today, closing on the land and no longer theoretical, this is happening." 

Demolition of some of Canterbury's horse barns has already started. But it says it's redeveloping the horse stabling area with new barns and a dormitory complex.

"From a real estate perspective, this is a catalyst for much more to come, so that means we fully anticipate an entertainment district out here," said Haugen. 

This idea was first introduced about five years ago. Renderings show an amphitheater that can hold some 19,000 people and includes elevated seating and a beer garden.

"A lot of artists are skipping over Minneapolis and the metro because we can't accommodate Taylor Swift outside or artists like that," said Haugen.

He says a 28,000-square-foot office building, restaurants and 1,000 units of apartments and townhomes being built nearby will help bolster a venue like this in such a cold climate.

"For the most part, the shows would be through the summer season — let's call it, May through the first part of October," said Haugen, who also bets Canterbury's casino, food options and banquet space will help this long-term vision pay off.

"I think it's going to be really exciting the next couple of years," said Haugen.

The venue expects to open in the summer of 2025.


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