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Bowery Presents to open an outdoor concert venue at Suffolk Downs in 2023

The Stage at Suffolk Downs will occupy the infield of the former racetrack.The HYM Investment Group, LLC

The Bowery Presents, the regional concert promoters behind Roadrunner, Royale, and the Sinclair, will add to the company’s stable next spring with the opening of a new outdoor concert venue at Suffolk Downs.

The general admission venue, to be called The Stage at Suffolk Downs, is expected to accommodate up to 8,500 fans on the racetrack’s infield. The East Boston track, which opened in 1935, ran its last live horse race in 2019.

In addition to hosting the legendary thoroughbred Seabiscuit, Suffolk Downs has a notable history presenting occasional live performances, including Cirque du Soleil, Radiohead, Aerosmith, and the Warped Tour. In August 1966, the Beatles played the first rock ‘n’ roll show at the venue for a crowd of 25,000.


The Bowery Presents, a division of the concert giant AEG, is partnering with the HYM Investment Group, the developer that bought the racetrack in 2017 for $155 million. The investment group has proposed more than 16 million square feet of mixed-use development on the 161-acre site, including residential buildings, two retail squares, and a public plaza.

“Suffolk Downs has been thoughtfully designed as a place that brings people together and connects communities,” Thomas N. O’Brien, managing partner and CEO of HYM, said in a statement Thursday. “We are thrilled to partner with The Bowery Presents who will help us continue to realize this vision as we bring the proud history of live music back through The Stage at Suffolk Downs.”

The Stage at Suffolk Downs will join an increasingly crowded landscape in and around Boston for midsize concert venues. Roadrunner, the 3,500-capacity space in the Allston-Brighton neighborhood, opened last spring. In August, AEG rival Live Nation cut the ribbon on the MGM Music Hall at Fenway, which holds 5,000.

The opening of The Stage at Suffolk Downs will offer an outdoor alternative to Live Nation’s Leader Bank Pavilion, the 5,000-seat open-air venue in the Seaport District that first opened in 1994 as Harbor Lights Pavilion. Live Nation also operates the Xfinity Center, the 19,900-capacity amphitheater in Mansfield. The Bowery Presents, meanwhile, is the exclusive live promoter at Thompson’s Point, the scalable waterfront shed in Portland, Maine, that can host up to 8,000 fans.


The inaugural lineup of headliners will be announced at a later date. For now, the bugler is sounding the “Call to the Post.”

E-mail James Sullivan at jamesgsullivan@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @sullivanjames.