Local News

Raleigh amphitheater celebrates opening night

Posted June 4, 2010 5:34 a.m. EDT
Updated June 5, 2010 4:03 p.m. EDT

— Raleigh's new $2.5 million, city-owned amphitheater officially opened Friday with a night of music from seven local bands.

The event kicked off with Th' Bullfrog Willard McGee and ended with headliners The Connells. With free admission, thousands packed the venue, which is across McDowell Street from the Raleigh Convention Center.

The 5,000-seat amphitheater will play host to the Backstreet Boys on Sunday.

Other acts are scheduled to play the Raleigh Amphitheater:

  • Gov't Mule with Special Guest Jackie Greene - July 16
  • Honda Civic tour Presents Paramore with Tegan and Sara - July 23
  • Shinedown, Puddle of Mudd, Chevelle - July 25
  • Slightly Stoopid with Cypress Hill - July 28
  • Chelsea Handler - July 30
  • O.A.R. with Citizen Cope - Aug. 10
  • Umphrey's McGee with Rebolution - Aug. 13
  • Heart - Aug. 14
  • Sound Tribe Sector 9 - Aug. 25
  • Black Crowes - Sept. 17

Raleigh has a deal with concert promoter LiveNation to bring 15 to 20 events each year to the amphitheater, and the city-owned venue also will host local events.

Officials said they expect the venue to turn a $500,000 annual profit and add to the downtown entertainment scene.

"I'm expecting a lot of foot traffic," said Dave Rose, owner of Deep South, a bar across from the amphitheater. "We usually don't open until later in the evening, but we've had a full crowd in here all day."

What the name of the new amphitheater will be has drawn some controversy. The city has proposed a $1.5 million, five-year sponsorship deal that would give naming rights to Bud Lights, but substance abuse groups have said the name would send the wrong message.

State regulations prohibit an alcoholic beverage from being part of the name of a public venue, so the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission would have to approve any deal.