Millennium Shed Funds Cut

A state funding allocation to help build an amphitheatre in Millennium Park in Grand Rapids, Mich., won’t be as much as projected because of the weak economy and ongoing budget cuts.

The Grand Rapids Press reported July 31 that a projected $10 million allocation from the state to help kick-start the proposed 12,000- to 14,000-capacity venue has been dropped to $2 million.

The funding would come from a $25 million statewide cultural package approved by the state House Appropriations Committee. That package is expected to get closer scrutiny by the GOP-led state Senate, according to the paper.

"It’s going to be tough," State Sen. Mark Jansen, a member of the appropriations committee, told the Press. "Our tax revenues are down compared to what some people might be expecting. Now, again, we are going to start looking at ways to balance the budget."

State Rep. Michael Sak told the paper the state could justify allocating $10 million as a "development tool" to bring people into West Michigan and stimulate the economy but it’s still early in the discussion.

The estimated $20 million to $30 million shed, a joint venture between the Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority and the nonprofit Grand Action, has been in the works for several years.

The state allocation would be combined with private funds tied to naming rights and arena authority funding, according to the paper.