Since its opening in the fall of 2014, the Tobin Center in Downtown San Antonio has hosted hundreds of performances with several hundred thousand guests. Modern architecture, a stunning performance hall, and an enormous outdoor screen located along the River Walk Plaza have combined to create a world-class arts destination in the heart of the City.
For those who cherish the new urban chic condominium lifestyle of Downtown, the Tobin was well worth the wait. For the residents of Alteza above the Grand Hyatt, cultural enrichment is just a water taxi ride on the famed River Walk. An escalator ride to the river’s edge provides the added convenience and romance of an evening on the town.
The Tobin’s impressive first year calendar of events and high standard of delivery did not go unnoticed, including several first-year awards and rankings:
- Ranked 29th in the world, No. 19 in the United States and No. 1 in Texas for theaters of all sizes, fourth worldwide and third in the United States for theaters under 2,000 seats, by Pollstar’s first-quarter 2015 report.
- Ranked 61st out of the top 200 U.S. theaters and 79th in world rankings, 14th worldwide for theaters under 2,000 seats, by Pollstar magazine’s 2014 year-end report.
- Awarded Event Production of the Year, Social award for the 2014 opening gala, from the National Association for Catering and Events industry awards.
- Awarded three awards at the annual Tasty Bites competition for 2014 from NACE.
Nearly 225,000 people have attended events, with tickets sold to residents of all 50 states and nine countries. The Tobin Center through June 30 staged 586 events in a period of about 300 days, or nearly two per day, including rehearsals, shows, and private and corporate events such as luncheons and banquets. The donor’s wall that overlooks the Tobin Center lobby still has space available through the end of 2015 to add the names of contributors donating $100,000 or more. Not all of the 36 luxury boxes in the 1,750-seat H-E-B Performance Hall have been sold. Six boxes still are available on the hall’s grand tier and two on the mezzanine level.
In its first year of programming concerts, plays, operas and other types of events, the Tobin Center staff has learned what sells best in San Antonio. “There is a core base of classical aficionados, for the symphony, opera and ballet,” Fresher said. “San Antonio is an ’80s rock market. We sold out 20 shows. We’re giving what the market wasn’t getting. A lot of acts have not played San Antonio before and wouldn’t have” if the Tobin Center had not opened, Fresher said.
The big recent surprise came with booking “The Price is Right Live!” television game show for Sept. 8-13. “We sold out the first show in 16 minutes. We sold out the second show in 12 minutes. Resident performing arts groups credit the Tobin Center for providing a long-needed venue flexible enough to accommodate their varying performance stage and acoustics needs.
“The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts provides a venue in which our patrons can truly hear the outstanding quality of the San Antonio Symphony,” said symphony President David Gross. “Not only has it provided a superior experience for our patrons, it has created an environment for our musicians to realize their potential as an ensemble.”
Opera San Antonio “produced three brand new productions: two in the Carlos Alvarez Studio Theater and one in the H-E-B Performance Hall. All these productions gave opera goers, not only those in the greater San Antonio area, but those from among many states throughout the U.S., the opportunity to enjoy very high-level productions with nationally and internationally acclaimed artists,” said Opera San Antonio co-founder and board chairman Mel Weingart.
Courtney Mauro Barker of Ballet San Antonio said, “People didn’t realize San Antonio had a professional ballet company that invited guest artists for performances. The Tobin Center has provided for us access to an audience for our professional group. The Tobin Center has been an incredible platform.” Barker made the comment days before resigning Thursday as Ballet San Antonio executive director.
The Tobin’s first season has been nothing short of phenomenal. We can’t wait for Season Two.