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Changes revealed for downtown Grand Rapids amphitheater

Rendering of proposed downtown GR Amphitheater
Credit: Progressive AE Inc
Rendering of proposed downtown GR Amphitheater

Grand Action 2.0 has filed with the City of Grand Rapids updated amphitheater project paperwork

The City of Grand Rapids amphitheater project has entered the schematic design phase. The number of seats remains unchanged with 7,000 fixed and covered, 5,000 in the lawn. What has changed is the 85,000-square-foot outdoor venue’s configuration. The stage will now face west toward the Grand River.

“And then if you’re sitting in the seats or in the lawn enjoying a show, you’re facing Market Street and you still have a river view off to the right. A city view off to the left.”

Kara Wood is administrative project coordinator with Grand Rapids 2.0. She tells us as part of the 31-acre riverfront site stretching from Fulton Street along the Market Avenue corridor to Wealthy Street, the new layout is the best use for the location.

“The economic impact of the amphitheater itself should drive annual wages and earnings of about $7 million a year and that’s related to 480 jobs of operation and construction over 30 years in the county. And then specifically the city could benefit from up to 345 new jobs. The net new economic impact in the city over the next 30 years of operation of this facility would be over $475 million.”

The hope is the amphitheater serves as a catalyst for more economic growth including up to 1,500 to 1,700 new housing units along the 31-acres of riverfront property

If all goes to plan, the estimated $116 million facility would open in spring of 2026.

Patrick joined WGVU Public Media in December, 2008 after eight years of investigative reporting at Grand Rapids' WOOD-TV8 and three years at WYTV News Channel 33 in Youngstown, Ohio. As News and Public Affairs Director, Patrick manages our daily radio news operation and public interest television programming. An award-winning reporter, Patrick has won multiple Michigan Associated Press Best Reporter/Anchor awards and is a three-time Academy of Television Arts & Sciences EMMY Award winner with 14 nominations.
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