The Orange County Fair Board last week approved the first of a four-phase, $18.5-million remodeling project at the Pacific Amphitheatre.
Phase 1, which will cost $4.5 million, is set to begin in August 2012 and run through July 2013.
Work will be funded with cash reserves the board expects to have at the end of this year.
"The board decided it was important to pay with cash as we go," said OC Fair Board Chairman David Ellis. "That may change in the future, but for now, let's get the process started."
The amphitheater hasn't seen a major renovation since it was built in 1978 by Nathan Carter, Ellis said.
It's seen minor projects, such as the installations of an elevator for disabled patrons and a commercial kitchen backstage. It was also closed temporarily before reopening in 2003.
Overall, the renovation will see several additions and improvements to the amphitheater, including: