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Hurricane-Damaged Portsmouth Pavilion Postpones, Moves Concerts

PORTSMOUTH, VA (AP) – When Hurricane Isabel shredded the fiberglass canopy of the nTelos Pavilion at Harbor Center in Portsmouth, it also ruined the remainder of the amphitheater's concert season.

Thursday night's String Cheese Incident and Flaming Lips show and the Oct. 18 Creedence Clearwater Revisited concert were moved to another venue in Norfolk. The Lynyrd Skynyrd season finale show scheduled for Nov. 18 had to be re-booked for June.

With the pavilion closed until repairs are finished, city officials are nervous about next year's concert season. It could take about six months to make and install a new fabric shell. "Our concern now is to get it open for the season next year," city spokesman Kenneth Wheeler said. "As soon as we can, we need to get the new cover on order." This week, city engineers and representatives of Birdair Inc., the company that designed and built the roof, inspected the damage. They estimated the repairs will cost $1.2 million, nearly $1 million less than originally thought. Whether that will be covered by a three-year warranty with Birdair, the city's catastrophic damage insurance or Federal Emergency Management Agency funding remains to be seen.