Amphitheatre shown during Lilith Fair, circa 1998
|Former names||Great Woods Center for the Performing Arts (1986-99)
Tweeter Center for the Performing Arts (1999–2008)
Comcast Center (2008-13)
|Address||885 S Main St
Mansfield, MA 02048-3148
|Opened||June 13, 1986|
|Owner||Live Nation New England|
|Operator||Live Nation New England|
|Construction cost||US$13 million
($28.5 million in 2014 dollars)
The Xfinity Center (originally the Great Woods Center for the Performing Arts and commonly Great Woods) is an outdoor amphitheater located in Mansfield, Massachusetts; 35 miles southwest of Boston. The venue opened during the summer of 1986 with a capacity of 12,000. It was expanded in 1994 to 19,900; 7,000 reserved seats, 7,000 lawn seats and 5,900 general admission seats. The season for the venue is typically from mid May until late September. In 2010, it was named Top Grossing Amphitheater by Billboard.
The venue was proposed by Don Law, John E. Drew and Sherman Wolf in 1985. Originally, the suggested site was in Brookline, Massachusetts. At that time, the venue was planned to be a performing arts center, consisting of concert hall, auditorium and black box theater. After conducting research, Law concluded the New England region was in desperate need of an outdoors venue (at the time, the main outdoor venue was Tanglewood, Cape Cod Melody Tent and the South Shore Music Circus). The performing arts center was converted into an amphitheatre. The site was moved to Mansfield to created a regional venue, being within 40 miles of Providence, Boston, Worcester and Cape Cod.
The venue opened June 13, 1986 as the "Great Woods Center for the Performing Arts"; with a performance by Yo-Yo Ma and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. It was the busiest venues in New England, hosting nearly 80 concerts per season. Over the years, additional amphitheaters were added to the region. The XFINITY Theatre in Hartford and the Blue Hills Bank Pavilion in Boston brought competition to the area, bringing the venue to an average of 36 events per season.
In 1998, the owner of venue, Don Law Company was sold to SFX Entertainment and naming rights were sold to Tweeter Home Entertainment a year later, with the venue now becoming the "Tweeter Center for the Performing Arts". When the electronics retailers faced bankruptcy in 2007, multi-media organization Comcast Corporation brought naming rights, with the venue becoming the "Comcast Center" in 2008. The company renamed the venue the "Xfinity Center" in 2013, to correspond with its current product branding.
- Great Woods Center for the Performing Arts (June 13, 1986—July 8, 1999)
- Tweeter Center for the Performing Arts (July 9, 1999—June 3, 2008)
- Comcast Center (June 4, 2008—December 31, 2013)
- Xfinity Center (January 1, 2014—Present)
Special musical performances
The following artists have engaged in a special performance at the venue:
- Aerosmith (performed here 23 times in their career; their live performance in the film Be Cool was filmed here)
- The Allman Brothers Band (Live at Great Woods 1992 DVD was filmed here)
- Avenged Sevenfold (They have played this venue 3 times, and had their first American performance following the death of their drummer The Rev here on the Mayhem Festival, with Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater playing drums.)
- Flyleaf (Family Values 2006 DVD was filmed here)
- The Fray (Part of The Fray's music video "All At Once" was filmed here)
- Gin Blossoms (part of their video "As Long as It Matters" was filmed there during River Fest 1996)
- James Taylor (once for four consecutive dates, a house record)
- Jimmy Buffett & The Coral Reefer Band (portions of Buffett Live: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays in 1999 and encores in 2008 were recorded here, as well as the Live in Mansfield, MA Soundboard album in 2003)
- Korn (Family Values 2006 DVD was filmed here)
- Nickelback (part of their music video "Rockstar" was filmed here)
- Pearl Jam (11 times including the 7/11/03 show, which is the longest show the band has ever played)
- Phish (A track from 1994's A Live One was recorded here, the same night they also performed their complete Gamehendge saga)
- Rush (2 songs from their 6/23/1997 concert, are featured on the live album Different Stages)
- Stone Sour (Family Values 2006 DVD was filmed here)
- The Who (The DVD, "The Who: Live in Boston" was filmed here in September 2002)
- Consumer Price Index (estimate) 1800–2014. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
- "Comcast Center in Mansfield has new name: Xfinity Center". The Providence Journal. A. H. Belo Corporation. December 11, 2013. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
- Massimo, Rick (May 23, 2010). "Outdoor arena known as the Comcast Center marks 25th birthday". The Providence Journal. A. H. Belo Corporation. Archived from the original on April 9, 2014. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
- Catlin, Roger (May 10, 1995). "Great Woods Not Sweating Meadows' Opening". Hartford Courant. Tribune Company. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
- Anderman, Joan (May 22, 2009). "Live-music czar Law returns to roots of his success". The Boston Globe. The New York Times Company. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
- "Comcast Center in Mansfield renamed Xfinity Center". The Boston Globe. The New York Times Company. December 11, 2013. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
- Foster, Catherine (June 12, 1986). "Open-air theater finds private-sector believers". The Christian Science Monitor. Christian Science Publishing Society. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
- Monahan, Kerri (March 25, 1999). "Great Woods announces lineup". The Sun Chronicle. United Communications Corporation. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
- Johnson, Carolyn Y. (June 5, 2008). "Comcast in, Tweeter out in Mansfield". The Boston Globe. The New York Times Company. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
- "Comcast Center Changes Name To Xfinity Center". WZLX. CBS Radio. December 11, 2013. Retrieved April 9, 2014.