A Tale Of Two Sheds

Officials in two cities were recently examining whether to move forward with amphitheatre discussions or shed those dreams.

The County Planning Commission in Bedford, Va., cast a 7-0 vote to recommend rezoning for a 7,000-seat amphitheatre, according to the Roanoke Times.

The Sweetwater Amphitheater at Eastlake would feature a permanent stage and covered area that would seat 2,500 people, along with 4,500 lawn seats on a 56-acre site. It could open in April 2008.

"There’s really a huge void here for concerts – both small and large," Tim Saunders told the Times at a public hearing on the issue. "This is going to fill part of that void."

The shed could reportedly host about 30 concerts per year between April and October.

The rezoning request will move forward to the county’s board of supervisors for consideration, the Times reported.

And under consideration in Draper, Utah, is the fate of an unfinished amphitheatre that was donated to the city in 1996.

The Draper Mountain Park and Amphitheatre is a curiosity, according to the Salt Lake Tribune: A basketball court is drawn on the asphalt, but there is no hoop. There are 17 rows of stadium seats and handrails, but the view from the premium seats is of just a few new homes beyond where the stage would be.

However, the "shed" could receive a shot in the arm if city council members approve funding for the project’s completion.

The Draper Amphitheatre fundraising committee has apparently presented a few different scenarios for the shed, with projected costs ranging from $1 million to $4 million.

Committee chairwoman Terri Purles told the Tribune the cheapest version would feature a covered stage and restrooms, while the most expensive would convert the site into an indoor/outdoor venue that could seat up to 1,500 people.

Michael Sears, the city’s finance director, told the Tribune about $1 million is available at this point for the facility, coming from $500,000 in lease revenue bonds, $250,000 from the general fund and $250,000 in donations from the committee.

The committee has reportedly raised about $165,000 thus far.