Alton Amphitheater now has the “liberty” to attract high-profile names and exciting music festivals during the upcoming event seasons.
The venue has entered into an agreement with Liberty Bank for the entity to be the title sponsor for the amphitheater. During Wednesday’s City Council meeting, bank representatives officially signed the agreement.
“It is wonderful to have a business like Liberty Bank to help us move the city forward,” Mayor Brant Walker said.
The amphitheater will be renamed the Liberty Bank Alton Amphitheater, and an electronic message board sporting the new name and logo will be put in place to advertise upcoming events. The city will provide street and directional signage with the new logo, as well.
The city opened bids for sponsorship on multiple levels last year. Liberty Bank submitted the only proposal at the “title sponsor” level, which involves a three-year contract at $50,000 per year, with the full $150,000 paid in the first year.
In January, the Alton Amphitheater Commission agreed to pursue negotiations with the bank, with the Alton Committee of the Whole approving the deal last Monday and the City Council approving the partnership on Wednesday.
As part of the sponsorship level, Liberty Bank has the right to rename the amphitheater during the three-year period, longer if the contract is renewed. The bank has an option to extend the agreement in two three-year increments.
Founded in 1993, Liberty Bank added a Godfrey branch in 1997, acquired First Community Bank of Godfrey in 2006, and that same year opened a branch in Bethalto that streamlined into a multi-use facility in 2008.
Alton Amphitheater opened in 2009. Currently used for a variety of functions including church services and weddings, “big-name” acts have for the most part eluded the venue, something Mayor Walker says he wants to see change in the next three years.
He also says plans for the amphitheater are in line with a general feeling of excitement and growth for the city.
“I think there has been some bottled-up energy; a sense that we are no longer taking the approach that this is just ‘little old Alton,’” Walker says. “I think it boils down to community pride. We have some great things in store, and when people come across the river to see us, we have to shine.
“And we’re going to.”
The City Council also has approved preliminary plan designs for the upcoming Alton Multimodal Transportation Center.
The new center, including a high-speed rail passenger terminal and connecting road system, will be on the northeast corner of the former Robert P. Wadlow Municipal Golf Course at 1 Golf Road.