MACON, Ga. — By the end of the year, Macon music lovers should have a new place to catch their favorite artists at the Macon Amphitheater.
Work started last year, and Tuesday, Macon-Bibb County commissioners toured the site. We went with them.
Crunching gravel, steel bars and concrete are most of what you'll see and hear at the amphitheater. In just a few months, Bibb commissioners hope the doors will open for concertgoers.
"Guests that are accessing the lawn and the top of the seating will come up," said Chris Clark, the project manager, as he walked the group into the bowl.
Commissioners entered the 12,000 seat venue through one of the main entry points. It's not quite finished, but you can see things taking shape.
"Where I'm standing right now is what I call the edge of the promenade. All three sections that you're seeing up here will be grassed lawn seating," Clark said.
In the distance, support beams reach into the sky above the main stage, ready for a super-high roof to leave room for pyrotechnics. It also adds to the design.
"As you're riding down the road, it's the pop, 'Wow, I want to be in that spot,'" Clark explained.
While the venue seats 12,000, they can change that. Some seats are removable, so the amphitheater can host a variety of events.
"Say you wanted to do a graduation here. You'll have full access from the pit level. We'll have ramps right up to the plaza, and you'll have a ramp right back down to the stage for walking across. We'll have full access all the way through here," Clark said.
After years of talks and planning, Commissioner Al Tillman says he's glad to see such a big investment in his district.
"If you thought it wasn't going to happen, if you didn't believe in it, here's an opportunity to say, 'Hey, we still welcome you. Come on and get on board. Because this is happening,'" Tillman said. "By the end of the year, this is going to be one of Macon's premiere spots."
It's a spot he and Mayor Lester Miller hope paves the way for a revitalized Eisenhower corridor.
Mayor Miller says the amphitheater will be 'state of the art' in design and technology. If you want to beat the concessions line, they plan to have an app where you can order your food and pick it up later. They'll also have a full kitchen large enough for massive crowds they expect.
After the tour, commissioners looked at several projects inside the mall. The elections office, Planning and Zoning, a library branch and several other offices will move into vacant storefronts.
Two courtrooms are set to open inside the old Sears next month.