Concept Drawings by OTJ Architects


Sunken Garden Theater Market & Financial Feasibility Study:
1. Introduction
2. Live Music Industry Overview
3. Local Market Conditions
4. Competitive Facility Context
5. Comparable Venue Benchmarking
6. Estimated Utilization
7. Building Program Recommendations
8. Financial Projections

The Brackenridge Park Conservancy, working together with the City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department, has begun the process to renovate the historic Sunken Garden Theater and create a more functional event venue for the citizens of San Antonio and visitors alike.

Since its opening in 1930, nearly 92 years ago, the Sunken Garden Theater has been a notable venue, hosting events and shows ranging from Taste of New Orleans, Shakespeare in the Park, Carlos Santana, Bob Dylan, Sheryl Crow, Phil Collins, Rage Against the Machine, Warped Tour, Bob Marley Fest, and many more.

The wear and tear of the nine decades of use is evident. The proposed renovation will

  • elevate Sunken Garden Theater to a top-tier facility that would attract world-class acts that currently skip San Antonio for other major Texas cities
  • give San Antonians a centrally located entertainment venue, while maintaining the theater’s historic integrity
  • boost the local economy by creating 1,000+ construction FTE jobs and 170 annual FTE jobs annually from operations
  • create an overall estimated economic impact of $239 million within the first 10 years of operation
  • help fund the priorities of the Brackenridge Park Conservancy’s mission, which is to safeguard the Park’s natural, historic, educational, and recreational resources for the enjoyment of current and future generations.

Today, Sunken Garden Theater has 879 permanent seats, with the option of adding additional temporary seating; general admission capacity today is 4,800 spectators. 

The Brackenridge Park Conservancy has held briefings with Mayor Ron Nirenberg, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolf, City Council Members, Bexar County Commissioners, Conservation Society of San Antonio, San Antonio Zulu Association, San Antonio Parks Foundation, River Road Homeowners Association, City Manager Erik Walsh, San Antonio Parks and Recreation and Public Works as well as other community leaders and organizations. A press conference announcing the proposed renovations was held at Sunken Garden Theater on Sept. 17, 2021, and news reports appeared in several news outlets on redevelopment plans:

  • San Antonio Express-News, Sept. 17, 2021 (front page), “Renovation is planned for Sunken Garden”
  • Houston Chronicle, Sept. 28, 2021 (page 2), “Plan would bring back ‘grand dame of a theater’”
  • San Antonio Report, Sept. 17, 2021
  • San Antonio Current, Sept. 17, 2021
  • WOAI, Sept. 17, 2021

The Brackenridge Park Conservancy will continue ongoing opportunities for public input.

The Brackenridge Park Conservancy is fulfilling its mission through the renovation of the historic theater which has fallen into disrepair. The Conservancy is committed to renovating the deteriorating venue, incorporating existing structures, restoring features that have long since ceased to function, and adding much needed improvements. The revitalization of Sunken Garden Theater will provide additional recreational opportunities for the citizens of San Antonio, with expanded programming for generations to come. 

Current Projects