The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park

Coordinates: 32°42′18″N 117°09′57″W / 32.70493072363166°N 117.16575802946254°W / 32.70493072363166; -117.16575802946254
The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park
Rady Shell lit in red at night
San Diego Symphony performing at the Rady Shell in 2022
The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park is located in San Diego
The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park
The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park
Location within San Diego
Address222 Marina Park Way
San Diego, California
LocationEmbarcadero Marina Park South
Coordinates32°42′18″N 117°09′57″W / 32.70493072363166°N 117.16575802946254°W / 32.70493072363166; -117.16575802946254
Public transit San Diego Trolley Green Line at Convention Center
OperatorSan Diego Symphony
TypeOutdoor concert shell
Broke groundAugust 29, 2019
OpenedAugust 5, 2021 (2021-08-05)
ArchitectTucker Sadler Architects
Structural engineerCoffman Engineers
General contractorRudolph and Sletten

The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park is an open-air music venue in San Diego, California. It is operated by the San Diego Symphony on the grounds of the Embarcadero Marina Park South, which the Symphony leases from the Port of San Diego.[1] The site is located on the San Diego Bay in the Marina District of Downtown San Diego.

Design and construction[edit]

Prior to construction of the Rady Shell, the San Diego Symphony had held summertime concerts at the same location for 15 years using temporary structures.[2] The new permanent venue, initially called the Bayside Performance Park, broke ground on August 29, 2019,[3] and was designed by Tucker Sadler Architects. The central Performance Shell was designed by the London company Soundforms.[4] Rudolph and Sletten was the general contractor and Coffman Engineers provided the structural engineering.[5]

The Symphony originally planned to invest $45 million in construction of the venue and associated improvements to the park, such as new lighting and public restrooms. The new facilities were planned to open in July 2020.[6] However, the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the opening for 13 months.[7] The Symphony decided to use the extra time to add features to the project,[5] resulting in a final budget of $85 million. More than 99% of the funds were raised from private donations.[6]

In May 2021, the Symphony announced that the venue would be named "The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park" in honor of some of its major donors: Ernest and Evelyn Rady gave $15 million for the project, and Joan and Irwin Jacobs donated $11 million.[8] Other major donors included the Conrad Prebys Foundation ($12 million) and Una Davis ($10 million).[6] The facility was officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on August 5, 2021.[9] A six-course dinner and a fireworks display accompanied the following evening's opening San Diego Symphony performance of music by Mozart, Gershwin, Saint-Saëns, and Stravinsky.[10]


A 3,865 square foot (359.1 m2) covered stage supports both symphonies and pop music performances.[6] A sloping lawn covered with artificial turf provides variable amounts of seating for 2,000 to 10,000 guests. Only temporary seating is used so that the lawn can be open for public use on non-concert days.[9] A typical performance in 2021 was configured for 3,500 seats; this was expanded to over 4,700 seats for 2022.[11] The number of performances is limited to ensure public access to the park, and no more than six events per year can use the maximum seating capacity.[6]


Artists who have performed at the Rady Shell include Sting, Boyz II Men, Leon Bridges, Stewart Copeland, Sheryl Crow, Norah Jones, Gladys Knight, Ledisi, Smokey Robinson, Olivia Rodrigo, Ben Platt, Charlie Puth, Lea Salonga, and Brian Wilson.[6][12]


  1. ^ "Port of San Diego Grants Lease for Symphony's Bayside Performance Park". Fox 5 San Diego. City News Service. July 25, 2019. Retrieved October 31, 2022.
  2. ^ "Port of San Diego and San Diego Symphony Celebrate Groundbreaking for Bayside Performance Park". The Coronado Times. August 30, 2019. Retrieved October 31, 2022.
  3. ^ "Groundbreaking Ceremony Held for Symphony's Bayside Performance Park". Fox 5 San Diego. August 29, 2019. Retrieved October 31, 2022.
  4. ^ "Press Release: Award-winning Open-air Concert Stage Combines the World's Most Innovative Sound Technology". Soundforms. March 29, 2023. Retrieved November 28, 2023.
  5. ^ a b Aragon, Greg (October 17, 2022). "2022 California Best Projects: Best Sports/Entertainment: Rady Shell at Jacobs Park". Engineering News-Record. Retrieved October 31, 2022.
  6. ^ a b c d e f Varga, George (July 31, 2021). "San Diego Symphony Starts New Era with Friday Opening of $85 Million Rady Shell at Jacobs Park Concert Venue". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved October 31, 2022.
  7. ^ Varga, George (April 2, 2021). "San Diego Symphony Fine-tunes The Shell, Its New $85 Bayside Venue, and Prepares to Launch Concerts". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved October 31, 2022.
  8. ^ "San Diego Symphony Unveils Name of New Outdoor Venue". Fox 5 San Diego. May 14, 2021. Retrieved October 31, 2022.
  9. ^ a b Mae, Melissa (August 5, 2021). "Port, San Diego Symphony Open Rady Shell At Jacobs Park Concert Venue". KPBS. City News Service. Retrieved October 31, 2022.
  10. ^ Nagourney, Adam (August 10, 2021). "San Diego Gets Its Answer to the Hollywood Bowl, Just in Time". The New York Times. Retrieved October 31, 2022.
  11. ^ Varga, George (March 13, 2022). "Jennifer Hudson, Common, Elvis Costello and Flying Lotus Top The Rady Shell 2022 Season Lineup". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved October 31, 2022.
  12. ^ McGough, Will (August 22, 2022). "The Country's Coolest New Concert Venue Is In California". Forbes. Retrieved October 31, 2022.

External links[edit]