The St. Joseph City Council is moving on from the Krug Park Amphitheater project and is focusing on the entire park system with a half-cent sales tax.

Details have been released about how proposed improvements to the Krug Park Amphitheater might be used and what economic benefit they may have on the city.

The City of St. Joseph has published the Krug Park Amphitheater feasibility and economic impact studies, which were recently completed by Stone Planning, a consulting firm that specializes in the planning and operations of venues and events.

In the feasibility study, Stone Planning said its staff members “do not believe that there is a strong opportunity for a heavily commercial amphitheater that hosts a significant number of national touring concerts in St. Joseph.”

The consulting firm said Krug Park should have a facility more oriented toward locally based events, because of the significant venue competition in Kansas City.

Stone Planning recommends a small, boutique amphitheater with a capacity of about 4,000. The agency also said roads and parking need to be addressed, as well as basic amphitheater elements, like technology and storage.

The study also mentioned that continued local access to the park should be ensured and that Stone Planning assumes the Krug Trust will allow alcohol sales.

As for operation numbers, Stone Planning estimates that this proposed amphitheater would have 46 to 65 events a year, including six to 10 touring concerts, 10 to 15 local performances and a number of community and private events, with a total attendance of 69,000 to 95,000 a year.

The facility is estimated to have operating deficits of about $110,000 in its first two years, followed by small profits in the next two years. In the fifth year, operating income should be about $160,000 per year.

In the economic impact study, Stone Planning “estimated the potential future impacts to be captured within the city and by its residents.”

Gross direct impacts, which are generated from the spending by all facility attendees and other facility revenues, include $3 million in spending within the city, 14 jobs with about $700,000 in income, 820 hotel room nights and more than $100,000 in new tax revenues for a year.

Net total impacts, which are generated from the spending by non-city residents and include indirect spending estimated by economic multipliers, include $2.7 million in spending, 17 jobs with about $900,000 in income, 820 hotel room nights and $76,000 in new city tax revenues for a year.

Stone Planning also looked at potential funding opportunities, including forming districts and placing a fee on the sale of every ticket.

A Community Improvement District and a One Theater and Cultural Arts District could generate $15,000 to $29,000 a year through a sales tax. A Tax-Increment Financing District could generate $24,000 to $47,000 per year.

Facility fees could capture $135,000 to $215,000 a year.

The city council will meet at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 12, in the Council Chamber at City Hall to discuss the studies and consider a bill for first reading to submit a proposition to voters to provide financing for a potential Krug Park Amphitheater project. That election would be held on Aug. 3.

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