Providence Medical Center Amphitheater
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|Former names||Sandstone Center for the Performing Arts (1983–93)
Sandstone Amphitheater (1993–2002, 2008)
Verizon Wireless Amphitheater (2002–07)
Capitol Federal Park at Sandstone (2008-12)
Cricket Wireless Amphitheater(2012-15)
|Address||633 North 130th Street
Bonner Springs, Kansas 66012
|Owner||The Unified Government|
|Operator||New West Presentations|
|Seating type||Reserved, box and lawn seating|
Providence Medical Center Amphitheater is an open-air amphitheater located in Bonner Springs, Kansas. It has undergone numerous name changes, opening in 1984 as the Sandstone Center for the Performing Arts, followed by Sandstone Amphitheater, Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, Capitol Federal Park at Sandstone, and most recently, Cricket Wireless Amphitheater.
It is owned by the unified government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, shares its grounds with the Kansas City Renaissance Festival and National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame and is located adjacent to the Wyandotte County Park.
Designed by Bird Engineering, it originally opened in 1984, as the 'Sandstone Center for the Performing Arts'. It was renamed 'Verizon Wireless Amphitheater', in June 2002, after Verizon Wireless bought the naming rights, for seven years, from Houston-based Clear Channel Entertainment, for an undisclosed amount. Clear Channel Communications spun off its live events management division, in 2005, to form Los Angeles-based Live Nation, which continued to manage the venue through the 2007 concert season. Locals simply refer to the venue as "Sandstone".
In September 2007, Live Nation announced that it would let its managing contract expire, on December 31, 2007. In January 2008, the Unified Government Commission ratified a pact with local promoter Chris Fritz’s New West Presentations, Inc., to operate the venue through the end of 2009, with a two-year option to extend the contract. Under the new deal with New West, the name would revert to Sandstone.
Through 2007, the venue featured 6,700 reserved seats and general admission lawn seating. Beginning in 2008, plans are underway to remove the majority of the reserved seats closest to the stage, in order to make that area a general admission section. The change in the seating configuration is designed to let more fans get closer to the performers and eliminate costs of the extra security normally required. Additional structural changes include an upgraded VIP club and new sound and video systems.
Through the years the stage has fought several limitations. For instance, a 37-foot roof is well below the norm, which often proves challenging to book shows.
A primary component of the changes, in 2008, involve the venue's efforts to "go green" and become more environmentally friendly. These initiatives are evidenced in the venue's new logo. Free parking will be offered to those who carpool with, at least, 4 people in a vehicle or those who arrive in alternative fuel vehicles. LEED certification will also be a goal the venue hopes to achieve, by the use of solar panels and wind turbines for energy, setting up a compost site and allowing bio-fueled vehicle owners to collect used cooking oil.
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