VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A fire overnight at the Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater has left behind heavy damage roughly two months before the upcoming concert season.
Crews from the Virginia Beach Fire Department responded to the fire at the amphitheater in the 3500 block of Cellar Door Way around 1:40 a.m. Friday, according to a spokesperson for VBFD. When they got to the scene, crews reported seeing heavy fire coming from the rear of the venue.
The fire was deemed under control around 2:50 a.m.
There was heavy damage to the production area near the back of the stage near the loading dock. Pictures from the scene also show burn marks at the top of the stage.
Officials confirmed one firefighter sustained minor injuries and was sent to a local hospital for treatment.
“We are grateful to the VBFD for the swift action to contain the fire at the amphitheater.”Statement from the Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater
The 20,000-person capacity amphitheater is the largest permanent music venue in Southeast Virginia and Northeast North Carolina. The venue is owned by the Virginia Beach Economic Development Authority and opened in 1996.
It’s currently leased by entertainment powerhouse Live Nation, which manages the day-to-day operations in the space.
In October, Virginia Beach City Council approved $1 million in improvements for the 27-year-old facility. In a memo, city staff said the roof, generators and HVAC systems were at the “end of their useful life expectancy.” Plans also include the installation of LED lighting in the parking lot.
Deputy City Manager Taylor Adams told WAVY he believed the work had started. There is no word if any work was underway at the time of the fire.
A city spokeswoman said no cause has yet to be determined.
“An investigation and assessment like this will take several days,” said Tiffany Russell, city of Virginia Beach director of communications. “Once that has been complete, the city plans to coordinate with Live Nation on releasing next steps and any additional information.”
The first concert of the season is scheduled for May 14 with Janet Jackson. It isn’t yet known if the fire will impact the schedule.