Southaven aldermen Tuesday evening approved funding an expansion of the BankPlus Amphitheater at Snowden Grove as the city moves to bring more concerts to the outdoor entertainment venue.
Construction for the expansion is to begin in February with completion in the fall of next year.
The 4,000-seat facility with a grassy area for viewing concerts and other stage performances will grow to about 9,800 seats and still with a small grassy area available for those who want to lay back and listen to shows in that way.
The project will also double the bathroom capacity, add new concession buildings on the west and south sides with new gate entrances; add an air-controlled VIP lounge building with interior and exterior seating; add new boxes for group seating; add a commissary for better food and beverage distribution; add a café for the artists; add a new merchandise sales canopy near the main entrance; and improve convenience and security at all ticket entrances.
The project was awarded to Murphy and Sons at a price tag of $9,894,039.
“This will be funded by excess fund balance and mostly by a bond issuance,” said Southaven Mayor Darren Musselwhite. “The City has paid off large amounts of general obligation debt the last few years and has available conservative debt capacity.”
Musselwhite also said that market interest rates for Southaven are currently under two percent, so it is a good time for the city to leverage debt for the project.
In doing research and talking with promoters, Musselwhite said he learned the Amphitheater had become outdated.
“Specifically, we need more permanent seats, more concession facilities, more bathrooms, more conveniences for the artists, and more accommodations for season ticket holders to meet the upfront artist ticket guarantees and improve general revenues,” Musselwhite said.
The mayor also feels the investment will bring back huge dividends for the city.
“We will see new revenue options and we will accomplish the goal of bringing more events and artists who our venue has never qualified to bring here in the past,” Musselwhite said.