ROGERS – Peter Lane, president and CEO of Walton Arts Center, announced today Walmart AMP 20|20, a $13.9 million expansion project for the Walmart AMP that focuses on providing outstanding programming and expanded amenities for patrons.
“We created a master plan for the development of the Walmart AMP, something that would serve as a blueprint for what the venue can and should look like for the next 10 to 15 years,” Lane said. “We knew we wanted to capitalize on the elements that make our venue unique – providing concerts that you would expect to see in a larger market with the amenities of a boutique venue.”
The first step toward that goal is a new five-year partnership with Live Nation, making them the preferred promoter at the Walmart AMP. The partnership goes into effect for the 2019 season, with Trevor Noah as the first announced Live Nation show of the new season.
“After our first few shows in 2014, it became clear that Northwest Arkansas is not only a great market for business but also entertainment,” said Bob Roux, president, U.S. Concerts, Live Nation Entertainment. “Live Nation looks forward to our new partnership and bringing even more first-class entertainment to one of the fastest growing regions in the country.”
Also today, officials revealed expansion plans for the Walmart AMP that focus on enhancing the patron experience during a concert. These include:
· A new Procter & Gamble Box Office with more service windows making it easier for patrons to purchase and pick up tickets.
· An expanded main entry plaza twice as large as the current plaza with more Tyson Concession Stands and restrooms in the area.
· A new covered plaza at the top of the lawn, which adds 15,000 square feet of flexible viewing and event space as well as private restrooms. This area can be used for private events during shows and to provide enhanced amenities for the lawn.
· Two new outdoor plazas at the top of the hill will provide two new Tyson Concession stands, 56 additional restroom stalls and flexible space for activations.
· A reconfigured Kraft Heinz Entrance on the north side of the venue will feed into the new space at the top of the hill providing additional gates to get patrons in and out of the venue.
· New tiered seating at the front of the General Mills Lawn will provide a flexible space for portable seating that can accommodate 1,200 patrons in a reserved, premium lawn section.
· Capacity will increase by 1,000, bringing the total venue capacity to 11,000.
The entire project will take seven months to complete, and is designed not to interrupt any concert seasons. Construction will start in November 2019 at the end of the concert season. Work will be finished in time for the 2020 Cox Concert Series. CORE Architects is handling project design. CDI is the general contractor.
To date, $13 million or 94% of the funding has been raised. 20|20 Vision Supporters include Johnelle Hunt, whose give retires all existing debt; Walmart, who extended their naming rights to 2044; General Mills, who extended their sponsorship of the lawn through 2035; Tyson, who extended their sponsorship of the concessions buildings through 2028; Procter & Gamble, who extended their sponsorship of the box office through 2028, and Live Nation.
Additional phases of development for the venue, which focus on artist amenities and back of house needs, have been identified by the master plan. Those will be funded and staged to start at a later date.
For more information about AMP20|20 visit waltonartscenter.org.