Our Towns

Youngstown Foundation GIves $3M for Amphitheater

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio —  The Youngstown Foundation has given the city of Youngstown $3 million to be used toward the building of a downtown amphitheater.

This marks the first gift to the project from the community.

As part of the gift, The Youngstown Foundation has received the naming rights to the new facility for 20 years and will be recognized as a founding sponsor of the project in perpetuity.

An updated rendering was also revealed at the press event, along with the name: The Youngstown Foundation Amphitheater.

“As The Youngstown Foundation prepares to commemorate its 100th year in 2018, we are thrilled to play a part in a project that will transform the future landscape of downtown Youngstown and the quality of life for many years to come. We could not think of a more fitting way to kick off our centennial year than with the announcement of this gift to the city of Youngstown,” said Jan Strasfeld, executive director.

The Youngstown Foundation Amphitheater will be built in a riverfront park that will span 12 acres from the Covelli Centre site to the Mahoning Avenue bridge and along the Front Street corridor. It will host community events as well as national and regional touring artists. The first shovels will go in the ground next spring, with construction bids on the project opening in January and the amphitheater’s grand opening set for spring 2019.

The amphitheater will host an event capacity of up to 4,500 patrons with state-of-the-art stage, sound and lighting, multiple concession areas, flexible hard seating area in front of the stage, a grass lawn and VIP area.

Eric Ryan, CEO of JAC LIVE and one of the leading partners in the project, said, “My team has been working on this project for the better part of five years and to see what was once a dream become a reality is truly indescribable. It would be impossible for me to imagine a better founding partner and naming right’s sponsor than The Youngstown Foundation. Their work in the community over the last century is inspirational to all of us and for this facility to bare their name is humbling.”

The Youngstown Foundation, founded in 1918, is the largest community foundation in the Mahoning Valley, the fourth oldest in the country and ranked in the top 100 nationally. With more than $110 million in charitable funds, it awards more than $6 million in grants annually.

Pictured at top: Eric Ryan, Jan Strasfeld, Mayor John McNally and U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.