West Chester may get $20M, 10,000-seat concert venue

MetroParks of Butler County wants to know: Should a $20 million amphitheater be built at Voice of America MetroPark in West Chester Twp.?

The park district’s master plan from 2009 called for an amphitheater with 6,500 synthetic grass lawn seats and 3,500 fully covered seats near the lake. And now, a $65,000 feasibility study has been commissioned to determine the viability of such a venue.

“It’s great to have wonderful cultural venues, but they have to be sustainable,” MetroParks Executive Director Jonathan Granville said.

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Other similar nearby concert venues include RiversEdge Amphitheater in Hamilton, Riverbend Music Center in Cincinnati, and Dayton’s Fraze Pavilion.

RiversEdge Amphitheater in Hamilton. (GREG LYNCH/STAFF)

“If you cannot sustain them, you probably shouldn’t build them, with anybody’s money,” Granville said. “So that’s what we’re talking about now — is this a sustainable thing, is there a market for it?”

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The feasibility study will help determine the potential economic impact on the township, county and region. It also would include a market and demand analysis, venue design analysis, stakeholder input and projected success and sustainability.

If the amphitheater is determined to be feasible, MetroParks said it will work with community partners to plan the next steps and to develop a timeline.

This story contains additional reporting by Journal-News media partner WCPO.

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