Grand Rapids-area amphitheater plans revived


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Plans are once again getting underway to build an amphitheater in metro Grand Rapids, this time backed by a $5 million investment from the state.

The funding that legislators approved at the end of last year provides a strong springboard for the project, the Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention and Arena Authority says.

The arena authority is overseeing the development, which could ultimately materialize as a venue with seating for more than 12,000. Half the capacity would be covered seating.

"Very exciting to think about and talk about because it's one more thing that ignites the great summer destination that Grand Rapids can be and should be," Steve Heacock, the chair of the arena authority, told 24 Hour News 8 Monday. "It would create great excitement. It would create the use of hotels and restaurants and bottom line create a bunch of jobs for people that need them and want them."

The amphitheater planning is still in its infancy. Officials are still trying to settle on a location.

In 2008, the arena authority started plans (PDF) for an amphitheater at Millennium Park in Walker but the idea was tabled due to a lack of funding during the recession.

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