ROGERS, Ark. (News Release) — While the Walmart AMP has not held concerts this summer due to COVID-19, city officials, expansion partners and members of the media were given the opportunity to preview the recently renovated facility today.
“This is not how we had envisioned unveiling our expanded facility – and we will do a larger celebration once health and safety guidelines allow,” said Peter B. Lane, president and CEO of Walton Arts Center and the Walmart AMP. “Still, we thought it was important to take this opportunity to thank our expansion and construction partners and to give a behind-the-scenes look at the venue and the work we have done.”
Construction began on 20|20 expansion project in November 2019, following the final concert of the 2019 season. The project was completed in just seven months during the venue’s off-season and in time for what would have been the 2020 concert season.
The focus of the project has been to enhance the patron’s concert experience by creating flexible viewing opportunities and gathering spaces within the venue and increasing the number of restrooms and concession windows; and to improve the artist’s experience by expanding the artist wing and loading dock backstage.
The most noticeable change for patrons is the expanded space at the top of the lawn, which includes the Choctaw Plaza, named for Choctaw Casinos & Resorts, the newest 20|20 Expansion Funder announced today. This 12,300 square foot covered plaza space is home to an 80-foot bar and flexible seating area for concert viewing and event rentals.
“At Choctaw Casinos & Resorts we’re all about providing the best entertainment experiences and serving a broader audience,” said Erica Kosemund, senior director of brand marketing for Choctaw Casinos & Resorts. “The Walmart AMP Theater is dedicated to doing the same and we greatly enjoyed working with them on this project. We are so excited to be able to finally show it off today and we look forward to the day we can really celebrate this amazing venue.”
Uncovered plazas, each 1,350 square feet, flank Choctaw Plaza and provide additional restrooms, Tyson concession stands and gathering space. Below the new plaza spaces is an expanded Kraft Heinz Entrance with additional gates and shaded space.
The main gate has also expanded with additional gates and shade for workers and patrons. Between the Kraft Heinz Entrance and the main gate, the venue can now operate up to 12 gates at once, which increases traffic flow into and out of the venue. The main gate opens to the expanded entry plaza, which is double its original size at 19,500 square feet and includes 36 additional restroom stalls and a new Tyson concession stand.
The Procter & Gamble Box Office has expanded from four service windows to seven, and the previous box office, now located inside the venue on the main entry plaza, will serve as an internal box office for seating upgrades or purchasing special offers for upcoming shows.
Backstage, four luxury dressing rooms with private bathrooms bring the venue’s total dressing room count to eight. An artist’s green room, shower room for tour crew and a laundry facility were added to better accommodate tour needs. The updated catering kitchen can now serve the expanded dining room that seats 80, double the original capacity. The loading dock has also been expanded to accommodate six trucks instead of four, which allows faster load in and out for tours.
“None of this would have been possible without our 20|20 Expansion Funders and their commitment to the vision and to our community,” Lane said. “Their support has allowed us to complete this large-scale construction project despite the pandemic, which is truly amazing. Because of this project, the Walmart AMP will be able to remain competitive in the touring industry which will benefit our entire region when tours resume.”
20|20 Expansion Funders include Hunt ventures, Walmart, General Mills, Tyson, Procter & Gamble, Visit Rogers, Live Nation and Choctaw Casinos &Resorts. Support from 20|20 Expansion Funders directly covers construction costs for the expanded Walmart AMP.
The Walmart AMP (Arkansas Music Pavilion), a Walton Arts Center venue since February 2011, is Arkansas’ premier outdoor concert venue. The AMP has presented headlining concerts for the past 13 years, including rock, country and pop. In its permanent home in Pinnacle Hills at 5079 W. Northgate Rd., Rogers, Ark., the Walmart AMP has the largest outdoor stage house in Arkansas.