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14,000-seat outdoor amphitheater on Grand River gains traction with commission vote



A new outdoor concert venue in downtown Grand Rapids is one step closer to reality after the City Commission Tuesday voted to move forward with the idea.


Commissioners unanimously approved an option agreement with the Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority (CAA), and it’s the same group that is responsible for the DeVos Place, DeVos Performance Hall and Van Andel Arena.


And officials say, the new 14,000-seat amphitheater overlooking the Grand River, bringing big name concert acts during the warm summer months, could be the group’s next big project.


Located at 201 Market Ave, just a stone’s throw away from Founders Brewery headquarters, a new concert venue could have enormous social and economic impact on the city, says Deputy City-Manager Eric DeLong.


“We couldn’t be more pleased,” DeLong said. “We think the amphitheater is an amazing project that will provide entertainment for hundreds of thousands of people over time, and will pay dividends for our city for a long time.” 

The city would be paid $24.5 million for about 11.6 acres of the 17.5-acre site. One major hurdle will be the relocation of the water and sewer plant that currently sits on the property, which DeLong says is a challenge, but still doable. 

He says the project is part of the city’s overall plan to develop along the Grand River over the next decade, and making access to the water a part of the city’s identity.