Long Beach will be getting a new music venue next to the Queen Mary sooner than expected, Mayor Rex Richardson said Tuesday.

He announced plans for the temporary amphitheater adjacent to the historic ocean liner during his annual State of the City address. Richardson said the venue will have 8,000 to 10,000 seats with the stage directly across Queensway Bay from the Downtown skyline, providing a dramatic backdrop for the audience.

Richardson has already talked about plans to build a permanent amphitheater, which he’s dubbed the Long Beach Bowl. But while the city develops this “signature public amphitheater by the sea” over the next five years, this temporary venue would be an interim step that could open as soon as 2025.

“Music is coming back to Long Beach sooner than we think,” Richardson said.

A venue of the planned size would fill the hole left in the Southern California music scene when the 12,000-seat FivePoint Amphitheatre in Irvine shuttered in October.

FivePoint was also temporary but stayed open for six years before its closure. In what could be a roadmap for the Long Beach project, it used bleacher sections, foldout chairs and a temporary stage. The region’s other notable outdoor amphitheaters include the Greek Theatre and the Hollywood Bowl, which have capacities of 5,900 and 17,500, respectively.

The temporary venue is expected to be located away from the water, beyond the old village and to the west, according to Queen Mary spokesperson Tania Pantoja. The permanent amphitheater will be closer to the water by Harry Bridges Memorial Park, according to Pantoja.

The area is already zoned for commercial/recreational uses under the Port of Long Beach’s master plan, which was originally approved in the 1980s with California Coastal Commission approval. The port began a process to update its master plan in 2017 but scrapped the effort in October.

As long as the amphitheater falls within the parameters of the port’s master plan, it would not require new Coastal Commission approval. According to the city’s land-use element, any structures in that area must be under 100 feet tall.

Further details about the project remain unclear, including cost and the capacity breakdown between seats and standing room.

The temporary amphitheater venue will have a lower capacity than the Long Beach Arena, which can hold 13,500 people. While the arena has a rich musical history, hosting the likes of Elvis Presley, Elton John, Black Sabbath, Metallica and Prince in the 1970s and ’80s, it has shifted away from music in favor of convention and event space uses over the years.

Along with local performing arts such as the Long Beach Symphony, Richardson hopes the new venue will see the return of world-class musical headliners.

Reporter Jason Ruiz contributed to this report.

Brandon Richardson is a reporter and photojournalist for the Long Beach Post and Long Beach Business Journal.