By Ty Russell

HOLLYWOOD (CBSMiami) – Final preps are happening a week before Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino unveils its $1.5 billion expansion. Cameras were allowed inside what will be the new entrance to the hotel and casino.

Leaders also showed off their new “Hard Rock Live” venue.

“The furthest distance of any seat, to what we call center mic, is 168 feet, in fact, there’s nothing like it in the United States,” Jim Allen said.

Allen is the international chairman and Seminole Gaming CEO. He said the new venue is expected to host 200 events a year, double the number of the old “Hard Rock Live”.

“We spared no expense at creating something that’s just not about live music, it’s also set-up for complete TV. Any event like Broadway. Obviously, boxing and martial arts,” said Allen

The new performing area carried a $125 million price tag. It’s built to fit 7,000 people. Sting, Alicia Keyes, Billy Joel, Bret Michaels, and Gladys Knight are some of the artists who will have concerts here.

“With the previous facility, we were not able to attract a real residency with an artist. We will be announcing shortly residencies of some world-class major artists,” Allen said.

This will be ready when the iconic guitar tower opens next Thursday. As crews prepare for the grand opening, the organization is also working to find answers at a construction site in New Orleans. Last weekend, there was a building collapse at the Hard Rock hotel. It’s a site with a private owner who had a contract to use the “Hard Rock” name.

“We are certainly working with that owner, obviously with the contractor, and local code enforcement issues to make sure the proper things are done,” Allen said.

Back here at home, hotel and casino leaders expect thousands of new visitors starting next week, which they say is their jackpot.

The first performance at Hard Rock Live will be the band “Maroon 5.” That is scheduled to happen on October 25th.

Ty Russell

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