(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The push for a newly renovated Krug Park Amphitheater in St. Joseph continues. Leading advocates for the project are now speaking directly to the public to win their vote.
Al Purcell, one of the leading advocates for the renovation, says the potential in St. Joseph is enormous and the project could change the course of St. Joseph.
"What if we were looking at something here that starts drawing in 500 to 600 thousand people starting in the late spring through the early fall on a weekly basis coming into this particular community and spending that kind of money and the impact it will have on this particular community?"
City council members and other local leaders are on board for the hefty project, but ultimately, it could come down to a public vote.
“It would be really cool to see growth in St. Joseph," said Erik McGuire, a rotary club member. "To see, I guess, a positive trajectory for our community and projects like this can be a big part of that. I just hope that St. Joseph will be rational in this decision making and make the best decision for the long term future of our community.”
If the decision were to come down to a public vote does worry leaders of the project after a recent school bond vote failed. Potential voters can see why this would pass, and how it could possibly fail.
“What drives public supporter opposition?”, said McGuire. "I think that the public would support initiatives if it was perceived that the public had input in the outcome because I don’t think St. Joseph, from what I’ve seen, is anti having good things for its citizens and the whole community. But, sometimes there are a lot of questions and it might feel like they don’t understand how it benefits them.”
Currently, outside contractors and companies like AMS and Populous are on board for the potential money-maker in St. Joseph. Infrastructure details and financial costs are still being worked out. Project planners are still unsure if they'll need to go to voters on a bond request.
If the new amphitheater comes into being, planners say concerts could attract crowds of 25,000 or more per event, ultimately bringing in hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.