Construction begins on 15,000-seat LiveNation amphitheater in Riverside

Freeman

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A LiveNation amphitheater under construction in Riverside will seat 15,000 people and is expected to open […]

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A LiveNation amphitheater under construction in Riverside will seat 15,000 people and is expected to open in two years.

The site, near Interstate 635 and Horizons Parkway, is across the street from the KC Current’s soccer training complex.

“It is a legacy moment for our community,” said Mayor Kathy Rose of Riverside. “Riverside is small, we have a 4,000 nighttime population, about 15,000 daytime population with all the work industry. We are only six square miles, and we are just the city that is 15 minutes from anywhere.”

Rose says the amphitheater site also will have more than a dozen buildings for food, beverages, restrooms, VIP spaces, a ticket office, and general office areas.

The seating area will be covered by a 100,000-square-foot, 70-foot tall roof.

Seating will include a mix of pit seating, general admission, lawn seating, and a selection of premium and VIP seats and boxes.

There will be more than 5,000 parking spaces and up to 200 spaces for rideshare companies.

Rose says the amphitheater will open in the spring or summer of 2025 and will host more than 30 concerts each year.

The mayor’s favorite part? The massive roof.

“It doesn’t matter the elements, the concerts can go on,” she said.

LiveNation is putting up $85 million to build the amphitheater, along with $20 million from the state of Missouri and $5 from Riverside.

Rose says her focus is to bring more things to do and see in Riverside.

“It was very difficult to attract things for the residents,” Rose said. “We were losing 65-70% of our expendable dollars outside the city. We needed to look at what we could bring to people.”

She says she’s counting on more development and attractions coming to Riverside.

“You’ll have to go back to the flood of 1993,” she said. “Everything down there was in the flood zone and had 8-10 feet of water in it. Then the city of Riverside, the federal government and the Army Corps of Engineers built a $500 million levy. So we have a big investment down there. So now we are trying to capitalize on our investment.”

Incentives will be included in the deal.

“There will be some tax incentives,” Rose said. “We are still digging through that process, but not for very long periods of time,” she said. “I think we are getting very close. There could possibly be a property tax abatement, but not for very long. But that’s the standard everywhere else. There’s no extra tax to the community.”

The metro area has lots of choices for live music lovers.

“I think we are going to have a different niche,” Rose said. “I celebrate all of them. I go to all of them. I go to Starlight, I go to T-Mobile,” Rose said. “I hope people feel the same way about this one.”

The owner of one of the area’s most popular live music venues says he supports the amphitheater.

“Kansas City is really important to live music,” Frank Hicks, Knuckleheads owner, said. “I get flooded every day with booking. There’s no way I can put them all in here. They have to have somewhere to go.”
“I think people are going to love it.” “Yeah, we’re a little over-saturated, but we’re all doing a good job keeping live music going. I just think what’s good for KC, not for me, but for KC, that people have several choices.”

Hicks said there will be some impacts to his business.

“The people who are going to play in front of 15,000 people won’t play here anyway,” Hicks said. “So I’m not losing that artist, but I might lose the opening act.”
 
The new amphitheater is a defining moment for Riverside.

“It is a legacy moment for our community, but I’ve got to tell you there will be others. There will be others,” Rose said. “What I want to be known for more than anything with this venue or anywhere you’re at in Riverside is please come and please feel welcome.”

Grinder’s Pizza statement from STRETCH:

Kansas City sure is on a roll with all the kewl new developments happening in advance of FIFA’s 2026.  We are excited for Riverside & Northlanders to gain the amphitheater, but as good corporate citizens, we worry about the long-term impact it will have on our ongoing taxpayer investment in the Power & Light, T-Mobile Center & Starlight etc.  
 
GrindersKC Event Venue, and our intimate, downtown concert experience will never be in direct competition with them, or any other venue that size.  As such, part of us feels like welcoming a Live Nation destination to town is kind of like celebrating a new Wal-Mart opening.  What will the real, long-term cost be to our beloved community & to all the wonderful mom & pop operations out there now? 

2024 will mark the 20th Anniversary of Grinders Pizza in the Arts District AND the 10th Anniversary of Grinders Stonewall in Lenexa.  We want to thank everyone in Kansas City who support us & grok the Grinders motto — Where Art, Food & Music collide.

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