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Krug Park Amphitheater to scale down renovations

Rather than a 25,000 seating area, the study suggests 4,000 seats.

Posted: May 11, 2021 4:55 PM
Updated: May 13, 2021 11:19 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Dreams of having 25,000 fans at a local amphitheater are likely over. 

There's a change in plans for the renovation project of Krug Park Amphitheater. St. Joseph city officials received the draft results from its feasibility and economic impact study from consultant firm, Stone Planning, which recommended the city moves away from plans to build big and instead go small. 

Rather than a 25,000 seating area, the study suggests 4,000 seats. 

“They said tone it down to what they call a ‘Boutique’ amphitheater,” said St. Joseph Mayor, Bill McMurray.

In the feasibility study, Stone Planning said, "We do not believe that there is a strong opportunity for a heavily commercial amphitheater that hosts a significant number of national touring concerts in St. Joseph. However, a facility can be oriented more towards locally-based events and supplemented with any touring shows that are attracted."

McMurray said scraping the big amphitheater for a smaller venue is an appealing middle ground. 

“I was thinking this is a pretty big bite to go from an area that’s been pretty much neglected to an amphitheater that holds 25,000 people in just one swoop by July of 2022. Let’s learn to crawl before we run. I think it’s great. Let’s do it!” said McMurray.

The draft said more local performers will take the stage rather than those A-list acts, spotlighting local talent while still generating revenue. The study suggests 46-65 events be held at the amphitheater annually, 6-10 being touring or national concerts, 10-15 locally-based performances, 25-30 community events and 5-10 private/social events. 

To view how much revenue this project is projected to generate, click here. 

“Like a lot of businesses, it wouldn’t be a profitable entity within the first couple years. Gradually, it would become profitable." said McMurray, “We need to fix this crown jewel of our park system so that it’s as beautiful as it was intended to be.”

However, polishing that jewel is going to cost voters. 

There's no final price tag yet on the project, but a sales tax increase will be the path to pay for this multimillion dollar renovation and fall into surrounding fan favorite sites such as Civic Arena and city pools. 

McMurray said the new plan also comes with a relaxed end date. He said there's "no rush" to hit the original deadline of July 2022, but instead to slow down and do the renovations right. 

“We can get this done and have a beautiful, renovated Krug Park Amphitheater and then projected revenues, should they come to fruition, can be used to make further renovations to the park. The alternative is to do nothing and we just watch Krug Park slip away from us,” said McMurray. 

City Council is holding a meeting Wednesday, May 12th at 3:30 p.m. to discuss the studies findings. On May 19th, city council will hold a special work session. 

To view the feasibility study, click here. 

To view the economic impact study, click here. 

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Most of today was sunny and dry with a few passing clouds. An isolated shower or two could develop late this afternoon in extreme northwest Missouri. Temperatures will continue to warm up on Wednesday with highs back in the upper 80s and lower 90s. Several rounds of showers and storms will return Thursday and Friday as a front moves through our area. A few storms could be on the stronger side or bring heavy rain. Temperatures will be back in the low to mid 80s for the weekend.
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