Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre: Modernizing Downtown Youngstown

By Amanda Joerdnt

The yearlong construction of the new Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre will come to an end in June and begin hosting national and international musical events this summer, aiming to draw in more business to downtown Youngstown.

The amphitheatre will host several nationally ranked performances that will draw in a diverse demographic and potentially bring Youngstown State University students back to the city during their summer vacation.

Gucci Mane, Earth, Wind & Fire, MuddFest and Steely Dan are a few of the performers making a mark on the amphitheatre this summer.

Eric Ryan, president of JAC Management Group, will be operating the outdoor facility and managing booking the events.

Ryan said it will bring more traffic flow to the area and help businesses in downtown Youngstown draw in more customers throughout the summer months.

“Downtown will notice an influx of activity on the nights of these shows,” he said. “We have been fortunate to be able to book many shows on weekends this summer, which will help encourage fans attending our shows to make a night of it and visit the restaurants downtown.”

According to Ryan, advertisement for the facility will be directed toward younger audiences and bring college students downtown during the summer months.

“We will have a great opportunity to engage this younger audience at the shows through social media, which we have recently been taking in a new direction for our venues,” he said.

Ryan said JAC Management has partnered with several different businesses to bring the vision of the new outdoor venue to life, and plans to announce other partnerships in the future to help further progress the amphitheatres entertainment value.

Hayden Brooke, manager at Suzie’s Dogs & Drafts in downtown Youngstown, said he is looking forward to seeing how the outdoor venue will help grow downtown businesses.

Photos by Tanner Mondok/The Jambar

“I think it’s definitely going to help the growth of Youngstown in general. It’s going to bring a whole bunch of people down here,” he said. “It will help business here at Suzie’s, even though it’s a bit of a distance away from the amphitheatre.”

Brooke’s hopes the venue will give local artists the opportunity to perform and work with the national touring acts.

“With these bigger national and international touring acts coming into this new amphitheatre, that gives opportunities for local artists to open up for them as well,” he said. “I’m hoping there will be some collaborative efforts between those touring acts and local artists.”

Serena Stout, a sophmore dental hygiene major, said she is taking summer courses at YSU for her program and plans on utilizing the amphitheatre.

“I actually think the new amphitheatre coming to downtown is a really good idea, especially for students that are going to be here in the summertime,” she said. “With it being in such a short distance from campus, that’ll be really good, and it’ll get a lot of younger generations coming down there.”

Stout said she is looking forward to spending her free time this summer at the outdoor venue.

“It’s really nice to have a specific center designated just for music and festivals, with it being in an outside environment,” she said.

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