Entertainment giant Live Nation selected as promoter, operator of Acrisure Amphitheater

Date:

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Concert and event producer Live Nation Worldwide will help promote, operate and maintain Acrisure Amphitheater under a five-year agreement approved Friday by the public-authority that will own the 12,000-capacity riverfront venue.

Rich MacKeigan, executive director of the Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority (CAA), said the partnership with Live Nation positions the amphitheater “to be one of the most successful” venues “in the Midwest if not the country.”

“They are North America’s largest amphitheater programmer, owner, operator,” he said. “So, their expertise not only in the form of procuring the shows but also best practices from amphitheaters would be part and parcel of what they’re going to bring to the table.”

Friday’s agreement comes ahead of a planned May 21 groundbreaking for the amphitheater, which will be built at 201 Market Ave. SW in downtown Grand Rapids.

The $184 million venue is a major development in the city and is seen as the catalyst for the broader redevelopment of a 31-acre stretch of the Grand River’s eastern edge along Market Avenue SW between Fulton and Wealthy streets. Ultimately, the plan is to transform that area, now home to surface parking lots, city offices and machinery, into a vibrant, mixed-use development with housing, green space, retailers and more.

Related: New Grand Rapids riverfront concert venue to be named Acrisure Amphitheater

Live Nation is the parent company of Ticketmaster.

The agreement approved between the CAA and Live Nation says compensation to Live Nation “is expected to be based on a percentage of the gross revenues of the Acrisure Amphitheater.” The agreement does not say what that percentage is.

“The compensation is something that is still being negotiated,” said Jessica Wood, an attorney at Dickinson Wright who works with the CAA.

She said the compensation will be structured “in such a way that does not jeopardize the tax-exempt status of the bonds that the city is issuing, and that is a complicated formula that has to be worked out.”

The amphitheater is expected to open in time for the summer 2026 concert season.

The CAA operates and oversees Van Andel Arena, DeVos Place and DeVos Performance Hall, and the organization works with Live Nation to host events at the venues.

“They have been the major promoter in our market since the venue started,” MacKeigan said, referring to Live Nation’s relationship with Van Andel Arena.

In addition to finalizing the financial terms of the agreement, other factors that must be worked out is access to the venue’s booking calendar. The amphitheater will be hosting national touring acts, but local organizations such as the Grand Rapids Symphony are expected to use the venue as well.

“So just what type of booking protocol goes into place to make sure that all those interests are properly addressed,” MacKeigan said, describing the work that needs to be completed.

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