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The Twin Cities metro area's next outdoor concert venue will be part of a $400 million entertainment district being built near Canterbury Park.

Leaders from Canterbury Park, Swervo Development Corp. and Shakopee held a ceremonial groundbreaking Tuesday for the 19,000-seat amphitheater. Work on the site near the racetrack has been underway since July.

"The amphitheater is no longer just a plan or drawing on paper. It is a reality," said Jason Haugen, Canterbury vice president for real estate. "This is a key component to the entertainment district we are creating as part of Canterbury Commons."

Swervo Development, which revitalized the Minneapolis Armory, is building the Canterbury Park venue. Its CEO, Ned Abdul, did not return a message seeking comment.

The first concerts at the new venue are expected to be held in spring 2025. Shakopee city officials expect the site to host about 40 concerts a year.

Treasure Island Resort and Casino in Welch, Minn., has a similar size venue for about 16,000 fans that's about an hour from Minneapolis. Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake has a smaller amphitheater that can hold about 8,000 and like Canterbury is about a 30-minute drive from downtown.

First Avenue announced plans for an outdoor amphitheater as part of the Upper Harbor Terminal redevelopment project.

Jeff Maday, spokesman for Canterbury, said the Shakopee amphitheater is an integral piece of the larger development that is transforming the land around Canterbury Park. Already there are new homes, restaurants and a brewery with more housing and a preschool planned for the area.

"It is an exciting piece of what we envision for Canterbury," Maday said. "It is a live, work, play, stay idea."

Shakopee city officials have been working with Canterbury Park on development plans for the region for about a decade and construction has picked up speed since the pandemic ended.

"Shakopee has always been about fun and entertainment," said Michael Kerski, city director of planning and development. "This is going to be an entertainment hub."