DiCesare-Engler Concerts








For more info see our pittsburghconcerthistory.com site

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The Star Lake Amphitheatre

picture of Star Lake from livenation.com

The Star Lake Amphitheatre (aka Post-Gazette Pavilion, First Niagara Pavilion) (1990-present) is a greater than 20,000 seat capacity amphitheatre located in Burgettstown, PA, about 45 minutes South of Pittsburgh.  It was built by CBS and PACE Concerts of Houston, Texas and was completed for the summer season of 1990.

DiCesare-Engler had spent $500,000 in legal and zoning fees trying to build their own amphitheatre on a plot of 500 acres they owned Cranberry township, much closer to Pittsburgh.  While DiCesare-Engler was hung up in court, PACE Concerts announced they were in the process of building an amphitheatre in Burgettstown. 

On March 10, 1990 Pat DiCesare officially announced that DiCesare-Engler
would be co-promoting concerts at the amphitheatre.   

In a
1994 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article, Pat DiCesare states:

"I was mentally devastated that I couldn't do the amphitheater," he says. ''I wasn't successful and one of our competitors came along and did it."   "Prior to the shovel going in the ground, we worked things out," DiCesare says. "And it's a good partnership."

Ultimately, PACE reached out to DiCesare-Engler to ensure the success of the venue.  DiCesare-Engler was the co-promoter of every Star Lake concert, and although DiCesare-Engler did not have to put up any money for the venue or the act, they were paid for every ticket sold at Star Lake Amphitheatre.  Plus the DiCesare-Engler name went on every ticket and promotion for the venue.  If Pace Concerts liked a show that Rich Engler booked in Pittsburgh, Star Lake would be the choice venue in the summer.  

The deal was a true win-win for both companies.  Star Lake hosted as many as 600,000 concert fans in a summer.  In a year like 1992 when DiCesare-Engler may have had 200,000 at the
IC Light Amphitheatre, plus shows at Metropol, the AJ Palumbo, the PIttsburgh Civic Arena, and a visit from Guns n Roses/Metallica and Genesis at Three Rivers Stadium it makes for quite a big concert summer for DiCesare-Engler. 

Star Lake's inaugural year they were voted best new outdoor venue.  They were consistently
in the top 10 amongst outdoor amphitheatres in the country during the DiCesare-Engler years. 

Pat DiCesare's story about how DiCesare-Engler spent over a half million dollars and several years trying to build a large amphitheatre just 20 minutes North of Pittsburgh in Cranberry.  The 500 acre plot of land is today the site of the "Adam's Ridge" housing development.