Ogden Shed In The Works

Utah promoter Ryan McEuen and Ogden city officials are working to build a $30 million amphitheatre complex that will fill a niche entertainment-wise and improve the community.

McEuen, president of Salt Lake City’s Incandescent Entertainment, said he began discussing the project, which features a retractable, clam shell-shaped roof for the venue, with the city about a year ago.

“We want to do not only a concert venue but also have Broadway capabilities – the tilted stage, scenery backdrops and the wings – so we can do two-week runs of Broadway plays as well as pull off rock ‘n’ roll shows,” McEuen told Pollstar. “It’s basically going to be like a convertible venue to provide year-round usage.”

The complex will be located in a 56-acre park on land currently used as a landfill for construction and demolition debris, and a nearby pond will be expanded to create a 45-acre lake.

Under the agreement, the city will invest in the infrastructure, and McEuen and private investors will handle construction of the building. The promoter also emphasized that green renewable resources will be used in construction whenever possible.

“We want to make a statement that this can be done with a minimal impact to the environment and we can still have a lot of great events,” McEuen said.

The shed will have 3,500 fixed seats and room for 21,500 on the lawn. Other amenities include a kitchen, a ballroom-sized room under the stage suitable for a green room/backstage area or other events, and individual hotel-style rooms.

McEuen said his industry background, along with his family’s, helped design a venue that he feels will make both artist and patron feel at home. If the promoter’s surname sounds familiar, it’s because his father is John McEuen of the The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and brothers Jonathan and Nathan have their own music careers.

“I’m a musician myself but I also promote and produce shows,” he said. “I’ve watched my brothers and my dad go through the industry. It really gave me a bird’s-eye view on how I want to approach this.

“Ultimately we want to go from making James Brown and Mick Jagger comfortable to a couple that’s just gotten married and wants to have an incredible event.”

The amphitheatre will fit into a market that includes Ogden’s 12,000-capacity Dee Events Center, 2,700-capacity Ogden Amphitheater and the 20,400-capacity Delta Center in Salt Lake City.

The project is still in the early planning stages but McEuen said its tentative opening date is summer 2008.

– Tina Amendola