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UCSD’s Concert Deal To Put Campus On Musical Map

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Aired 2/24/11

UC San Diego signed a five-year deal with a major player in the world of concert promotions. Live performances are now expected to put the university on the musical map.

UC San Diego is known for its scientific research, but it might soon become known as the school of rock.

Nederlander Concerts will use UC San Diego's RIMAC arena to showcase at least six shows annually for the next five years.
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Above: Nederlander Concerts will use UC San Diego's RIMAC arena to showcase at least six shows annually for the next five years.

UCSD struck a deal with L.A. based Nederlander Concerts to bring at least six big music acts to the university’s 5,000-seat RIMAC indoor arena.

Nederlander also has exclusive use of RIMAC's outdoor field, which accommodates 20,000.

Observers say the deal means there will be more competition among San Diego music venues. UCSD students, however, are excited to get discounted tickets to big-time music events on campus.

The university does not have a Division I sports team, like UC-Berkeley or UCLA. Students said music fills the void.

“Sports is not the only experience people can share together,” said Henderson Blumer, a 21-year-old student at UCSD. “Music can go beyond what sports can do … music has this effect on people that has great effects for morale on campus.”

University officials say the timing is just right for the RIMAC deal. The student population at UCSD has grown to 30,000 students, with more than half living on campus.

“With that (growth) comes an expectation that there is a rich campus life for students to enjoy, especially late nights and over the weekends,” said Gary Ratcliff, UCSD’s assistant vice chancellor for student life.

UCSD has been steadily attracting musical talent through its smaller on-campus venues, including The Loft, a performance lounge that opened its doors two years ago.

Campus officials said UCSD has gone from having 20 concerts a year to 250.

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