ST. AUGUSTINE, FL (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Its been a good first year for the St. Augustine Amphitheatre since the St. Johns County County Commission took control of the venue. A string of sold out concerts and a busy calendar have helped to allay concerns that the facility wouldn't be viable after the take-over and leave tax payers holding the bag.
"We were anticipating that it would take a few years to break even. But now we're at 87 percent; we're very impressed with that," county spokeswoman Karen Pan told the Florida Times-Union.
The 3,500-seat venue was refurbed and re-opened in May 2007 and had been slated to be operated by Signature Entertainment and Sports of Ponte Vedra Beach. The county ran the numbers though and decided that relying on a external firm to run the venue would be too expensive and decided to take over operations at the shed themselves.
Since then, the county has been working hard to make a go of it. Ryan Dettra, who manages the shed, told the Florida Times-Union that they plan to have 25 major concerts there this year, events which have proven to be a boon for the local economy.
"I'm pleasantly surprised at the success we've enjoyed. I had some real concerns that we weren't going to be able to get the facility up and functioning in such an incredibly competitive market," assistant county administrator Jerry Cameron said. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers