With the absolute bare minimum of fanfare, the outdoor amphitheater at Fair Park recently known as Gexa Energy Pavilion has reverted to the familiar name of Starplex Pavilion.
The announcement, if you could call it that, was so subtle we didn’t even notice it until GuideLive cast a more discerning eye on a Live Nation press release announcing an upcoming Dallas tour date for Chicago and the Doobie Brothers. We went back to our inbox, and sure enough, there it is: Chicago and the Doobie Brothers “coming to Starplex Pavilion” on June 16.
We came of age during the Smirnoff Music Centre era, absolutely rejected the unwieldy title of Superpages.com Center, and eventually came around to Gexa because it occasioned debate over whether it was pronounced with a hard or soft “G,” a conversation familiar to anyone who has ever said “.gif” aloud among company.
But Starplex it once was — the Coca-Cola Starplex Amphitheatre at its 1988 opening — and Starplex it will be again, at least until someone else buys the corporate naming rights.
Starplex remains a staple of the summer concert season, and one of the too-few attractions remaining at Fair Park. But, like Fair Park itself, the 29-year old venue is in need of some upgrades.
The outdoor facility, which has many charms that do not include great sound or clean bathrooms, is set for renovations to the tune of $8 million paid by the city of Dallas and Live Nation.