Archive for Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sandstone changes name, again

New shows also announced

April 23, 2008

Sandstone Amphitheater has undergone yet another name change since January.

Chris Fritz, president of New West Presentations, announced the new name of the amphitheater to be "Capitol Federal Park at Sandstone" at a news conference Tuesday.

Fritz said the new name reflects the fact that the New West-managed concert venue will "be more of a park and festival" site than it was under its previous moniker, Verizon Amphitheater, when it was run by Live Nation.

Live Nation declined to renew its lease that ended last year with the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan., which approved a two-year contract agreement with New West in January.

Fritz said Capitol Federal's sponsorship of the site would help to make a "concert experience to meet the social-conscious awareness and philosophy of the world today."

Attending the conference also was John Dicus, president and CEO of Capitol Federal Savings.

An amphitheater is an appropriate place to make such an announcement on Earth Day, Dicus said, because unlike indoor concert venues it requires no heating or air-conditioning for the audience seating.

Kristin Riott, a representative of the Kansas City, Mo.-based environmental advocacy group Bridging the Gap, said among the many businesses her organization works with, Sandstone was "a leader at this time in green initiatives. They're not just 'green-washing,'" referring to marketing ploys that produce little or no environmental benefits.

The news conference closed with a nearby tree planting, by Fritz, Dicus and Bonner Springs Mayor Clausie Smith.

Jesse Jackson, director of green initiatives for Sandstone, spoke after the event about plans in place to make the venue more environmentally friendly.

Eventually, Jackson said, all electrical power needs at the amphitheater and park will be powered by renewable energy in the form of solar power and, hopefully, wind power, except for the stage and the refrigeration units for concessions stands. Some of the restrooms and concession stands are already solar-powered, he said.

Plans to construct and install up to three large wind turbines near the site's main entrance at 633 N. 130th St., in Bonner Springs are for now up in the air, until the Bonner Springs Planning Commission decides whether the city should regulate the erection of wind turbines. The commission is scheduled to discuss the issue in a workshop session before its meeting Monday.

Jackson said the amphitheater site was an especially good one for producing wind power, "because we are in a wind zone," which he said had been rated by a turbine manufacturer to get much more wind than the rest of the Kansas City area.

The concert venue opened in 1984 as the Sandstone Center for the Performing Arts.

Summer shows

At Tuesday's news conference, Sandstone officials announced a new slate of shows for the site, including:

¢ Vans Warped Tour, July 2

¢ 311 and Snoop Dogg, July 10

¢ Yallapalooza, July 11

¢ O.A.R., July 20

¢ Mayhem Tour, July 22

¢ Jack Johnson, Aug. 15

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