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Fitz In At Sandstone

BONNER SPRING (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Its only been a month since Live Nation cut the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Bonner Springs, Kansas loose, but county officials wasted no time in finding a replacement, New West Presentation's Chris Fitz .

The UG Board of Commissioners unanimously approved Fitz last week at a meeting, clearing the last hurdle to his overseeing the shed which is once again known by its original Sandstone moniker.

"We’re very excited that Sandstone isn’t going dark, and we’re excited about all our plans for the amphitheatre," New West Presentations President Chris Fritz told the Kansan on Thursday. "It’ll be a great makeover."

The contract approved will only be for two years, but it includes the option to extend at the end of that period. The deal stipulates that New West will be responsible for the operations of the shed's concessions, promoting events, ticketing, event production, staffing and security while the county will pick up tab for maintaining the parking lots and providing a basic inventory of things needed for the facility to function.

In return for this largess, the county will be entitled to two percent of the parking gate, and a 1 dollar per ticket surcharge, up to 100,000 tickets, increasing to 1.50 after this bar is met. An additional .50 cents will go to the community of Bonner Spring.

The venue is being reconfigured to increase capacity to 20,000 by removing the lower level seating.

Other improvements at the shed will serve to make it a more environmentally friendly place. The venue will offer free parking to carpoolers with 4 or more passengers and will also encourage recycling, reduce paper usage, use recycled materials and take energy-conservation measures.

Fitz has also promised reduced concession prices with a better quality of foods, including organics, vegetarian and other speciality cuisine as well as micro-brewed beers and a 5 dollar beer program that is likely to be well-received by Kansan concert-goers. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers