Leicester's much anticipated Performing Arts Centre will not become a white elephant, the leader of the city council has insisted.
The council's contribution to the project may be £36.8m
A national newspaper has voiced concern that the theatre, which will have 400 more seats than the old Haymarket, may never be full.
But Ross Wilmott insists the theatre will be financially viable and will attract audiences from far and wide.
In January the council admitted the centre's costs had risen to £59m.
The Daily Telegraph report applauded the city's ambition but wondered if the centre would struggle to attract productions and audiences away from Birmingham, Sheffield, Nottingham and Derby.
Mr Wilmott rejected this, saying there have been doubters from the start.
"It is interesting that a lot of people were once critical in saying that it wasn't big enough - now people are saying it is too big," he said.
"This indicates to me that we have got it about right, with the two auditoria, one at 750 and one at 350.
"They are complimentary, they can work together, they can work separately. I think it is going to be absolutely brilliant."
Along with the increased costs, the centre's opening has also been put back to mid 2008.