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Lakeview Amphitheater starts second season with new features

Onondaga County
The new boat docks at the Lakeview Amphitheater

The Lakeview Amphitheater begins it’s second season this weekend, with a sold out Zac Brown Band concert on Saturday and Bob Dylan playing Sunday. There will be a few more amenities for concert-goers this year, as work continues on the venue.

For the first time, concert-goers will be able to arrive at the amphitheater by boat. A 25-slip dock now juts into Onondaga Lake.

"It’s $20 per slip to rent for the concert. That is our first year price, and we’ll see what demand looks like and then maybe adjust as we go forward. There will be a dedicated entrance to the amphitheater if you come by boat,” Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney said.

There will also be a new concession stand this year, and a paved Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant parking lot with spaces for 125 vehicles. But other big changes at the venue are still a year away. A major renovation of the main parking lot will have to wait until after the New York State Fair ends in September, according to New York State Transportation Commissioner Matt Driscoll.

"That will entail the re-grading of that entire large site. Right now it’s configured for about 7,000 automobiles. It will include all the drainage work that  does not exist now, hence the reason for ponding during wet weather events. Lighting, the ring road, it’ll all be paved, and striped to accommodate 7,500 users," Driscoll said.

Mahoney says there are other projects that could be coming down the line -- for example, pedestrian access to the amphitheater, a water taxi and a new name.  But, for now, she says she expects this concert season to bring in as many visitors as last year on a per show basis. And Mahoney rebuffs critics of the whole venture.

“I mean, people thought, who was going to come and sit on the shore of Onondaga Lake? Well it turns out 200,000 people last year.”

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.