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Onondaga County lawmakers approve ampitheater naming deal, reject Adrian's Law

Ellen Abbott

As concert goers prepare to head to Onondaga County’s amphitheater for a third season, they’ll find it with a new name. County lawmakers Tuesday agreed to a $1.5 million naming deal, that creates the Saint Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview. 

Onondaga County Legislature Chairman Ryan McMahon said after the signs go up, both the county and Live Nation, the concert promotor for what’s been called ‘The Amp’, will each pull in about $700,000.

“It’s a $1.5 million deal, which you net out any signage or building cost,” said McMahon. “And then after that it will be a 50-50 split. So most likely we’ll be looking at a $700,000 split for the county, Live Nation would receive the same.”

McMahon said that cash will go into a special fund to update the venue that opened in 2015.

“It’s going to be earmarked for capital improvements going forward out at the Ampitheater. It’s a new building now. In 7 or 8 nine years, it won’t be as new,” said McMahon.

The final vote was 13-4, with some legislators criticizing a lack of information on the deal. 

This isn’t the final naming discussion for county lawmakers. McMahon said next month legislators will look at a proposal to name the arena inside the Onondaga County War Memorial, that’s used by the Syracuse Crunch hockey team.  He expects more revenue for the county from that deal.

“You’ve got more games there than concerts out at the Ampitheater, so I would hope that the number would be bigger,” he said.

McMahon said the county will confer with veterans groups about the naming of the War Memorial’s arena.

Adrian’s Law goes down

There won’t be an Adrian’s Law on the books in Onondaga County after all. Lawmakers couldn’t come to agreement on a way to craft legislation that would stop pet owners from leaving animals chained up outside during cold winter weather.

Adrian was a pit bull found dead in Syracuse earlier this year, after his owner left him tied up outside on a cold winter day. That’s what spurred Democrat Chris Ryan to propose Adrian’s Law, that would give authorities power to punish pet owners who are irresponsible. And along the way he learned that the problem was worse than just one dog.

“It’s a county wide problem, and we learned that from the veterinarian’s clinic, that they see dogs all the time,” said Ryan.

But legislation that would have punished animal owners for leaving dogs tethered outside in below freezing weather for more than two hours brought dozens of dog lovers to legislature chambers in the law few months, many who said their dogs like it outside in the cold.

That prompted a dueling law that put the temperature at 10 degrees and had a list of exceptions. In the end, both pieces of legislation failed, although Ryan said he’s not done with it yet.

“I’ll never stop trying. But getting there is the hard part,” he said.

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.