Cedar Rapids Moving Ahead on Outdoor Riverfront Amphitheater

By Rick Smith, Reporter

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - City Hall is moving ahead on plans to build a $6.6-million outdoor riverfront amphitheater that can seat 3,000 people while functioning as a flood-control levee.

The City Council will be asked this week to set aside a total of $1.014 million in local funds split between the next two budgets to match an expected $3.75 million in state funds and $2 million in private donations to the project. The state money consists of a $1.75-million I-JOBS disaster grant and a hoped-for $1.826 million River Enhancement Community and Tourism (RECAT) grant.

In a memorandum to the council, city staff members state that the riverfront amphitheater will be built on the west-side of the Cedar River between the Third Avenue bridge and the police station.

The memorandum says that the open-air amphitheater has the potential of attracting as many as 52 events of varying sizes a year.

The city is prepared to move ahead with Phase 1 of the project, which is the levee component of the design, even if the council does not now choose to designate city funds that will allow the city to apply for a state RECAT grant.
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