The Crimson White

City anticipates new amphitheater

Brittney Knox

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With the recent 50 inches of rain and 60 rainout days, the weather has been the factor that will delay the opening of Tuscaloosa’s new amphitheater, Mayor Walt Maddox said.

He said the city will know by the end of the month when the amphitheater will open because the previous estimated date of mid-September is not a realistic since crews have lost three months of construction time.

“We can’t control the weather, but we can control how we react,” he said. “We are building the amphitheater to be a first-class venue. Therefore, if we have to delay the opening, then we will.”

Maddox said the idea for this type of venue in Tuscaloosa came from Councilman Lee Garrison, who brought this to the city in 1997.

“We began further work on this in the year of 2003 to make this state-of-the-art, and I was glad to help shepherd his idea,” he said.

Red Mountain Entertainment, a concert and events promotion company, will be paid $12,500 a month to promote and book events for the amphitheater, and the city will be responsible for the day-to-day operations.

Gary Weinberger, president of Red Mountain Entertainment, said they have been negotiating this partnership for a couple of years with the city.

“Our company is providing different resources such as concessions, management and booking events such as musical guests, special events, and non-musical guests,” he said.

He said he hopes the amphitheater will be able to provide a wide variety of different events for the residents of Tuscaloosa and West Alabama.

“Representatives at the University such as [UA President] Dr. [Robert] Witt, the provost, and members of student leadership have been very responsive to having a connection with the work of the amphitheater,” he said.

Weinberger said UA officials have been important in helping students majoring in public relations, business, marketing or advertising intern with Red Mountain Entertainment

“This would be a great opportunity for students, and we realize the importance our connection will be with UA in making this development a success,” he said.

Maddox said Red Mountain Entertainment has assisted with the design and purchasing of equipment.

The city will be responsible for providing law enforcement for events and medical officers in case of an emergency.

Maddox said he was proud of the new facility’s potential. “We are glad to bring this entertainment here to Tuscaloosa and the economic benefits to the downtown area,” he said.

He said the facility will also have a quality of life benefit because there will be more cultural events in the city that residents would normally have to drive to Birmingham to attend.

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Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894
City anticipates new amphitheater