Today Walton Arts Center (WAC) announced that Walmart will be the founding title sponsor for the Arkansas Music Pavilion (AMP), to be called the Walmart AMP. Walmart’s gift of $2.5 million in capital investments along with additional support and services over the next 10 years will ensure the success of the Walmart AMP. The venue will be the largest permanent outdoor amphitheater in the state, providing more arts, entertainment and economic development throughout the region. For the new logo and renderings please visit the Walmart AMP Dropbox.
“Northwest Arkansas is quickly becoming known for its arts, culture, and high quality of life,” said Doug McMillon, President & CEO of Walmart. “By creating a permanent home for the Walmart AMP in our community, we are making this region an even better place to live and work. Walmart is proud to support this state-of-the-art facility, which will be just down the road from the first Walmart store, and to help bring additional economic opportunity to the surrounding area.”
Peter Lane, President & CEO of Walton Arts Center, said, “With the generous support of Walmart, the new venue will position Northwest Arkansas as a key stop on concert tours in the mid-south. The outdoor amphitheater will provide a fun and comfortable concert-going experience, attract bigger artists, and serve a broader audience to create more economic activity around the region.”
Country artist Jake Owen is scheduled for September 11 and Willie Nelson and Family along with Alison Krauss and Union Station just announced they will be coming to the Walmart AMP on July 7. On-sale dates for these shows along with more of the 2014 Walmart AMP season will be announced, beginning in March. Construction on the new amphitheater at Pinnacle Hills in Rogers began last October and despite weather challenges, the project is still on-track to be open in June, 2014. [For real-time video footage of the construction, click HERE].
Walton Arts Center purchased the AMP in February 2011 as part of an expansion strategy to meet the growing demand for more arts and entertainment in the region. Over the past two years, the AMP has experienced tremendous growth and furthered this mission of Walton Arts Center.
The new amphitheater will have strong technical capabilities, improved access, an increased seating capacity of 7,000, (3,000 covered and 4,000 lawn seats), greater sightlines, air-conditioned restrooms, and the largest stage house in the state—all set in a vibrant commercial district with restaurants, shopping outlets and hotel accommodations.
Walmart joins the Lifetime Founders, Johnelle Hunt who donated the land and $3 million interest-free loan as well as the Willard and Pat Walker Charitable Foundation who donated $2.5 million—these gifts include naming rights for the Hunt Pavilion and Walker Plaza, respectively.
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