Midtown Raleigh News

Raleigh to spend $700,000 on VIP restrooms, office building at Walnut Creek Amphitheatre

A VIP pass to a concert at Walnut Creek Amphitheatre promises easy parking, great seats and soon, a shorter bathroom line.

The city plans to spend $370,800 on new restrooms for VIP ticket holders as part of a $702,000 contract that also includes a new office building.

Don’t expect marble countertops or fancy linens in the new bathrooms, though. The goal is simply to add space, said Doug Grissom, assistant director at the Raleigh Convention Center, which manages the city’s performing arts facilities.

“We need more,” he said. “The lines are so long.”

The new 1,000-square-foot facilities will replace two small restrooms and rented portable toilets in the VIP section of the amphitheater.

Raleigh regularly pumps hundreds of thousands of dollars into maintaining the amphitheater and adding features officials think are likely to draw crowds. Walnut Creek opened in 1991 and hosts many big-name performers.

In 2014, more than 280,000 people attended 24 events at the venue, slightly more than in 2013. Country acts drew the biggest crowds, but no shows cracked the 20,000 attendance mark.

The bathroom project is scheduled for completion this spring, before the start of the 2015 concert season at the 20,500 capacity venue.

Officials don’t expect the spending to slow down soon. Grissom said he anticipates improvements to the amphitheater will continue to cost at least $300,000 each year.