Nashville’s newest icon

Ascend Amphitheater and Riverfront Park is a new Nashville landmark.

Music City is a world destination for music lovers. And thanks to Skanska, the city now has a new place to enjoy those memory-making concerts.

Nashville officials, including Mayor Karl Dean, were recently on hand to cut the ribbon and invite the public to enjoy the city’s newest and much anticipated music venue and 11-acre downtown park,

“This 11 acres was the last piece of green space downtown, and for the city’s health, it was important to preserve,” Dean said.

Just hours after the ribbon cutting, and only seventeen months after construction began on the $52 million project, country superstar Eric Church cranked up the excitement at the amphitheater’s inaugural show. The structure includes a custom electronic orchestra shell, state-of-the-art sound system, extensive fiber-optic-based video infrastructure and a 100-foot-by-60-foot stage with a 40-foot vertical opening.

When shows aren’t scheduled at the amphitheater, Riverfront Park guests can picnic on the expansive lawn or take advantage of the 18,000-square-foot ornamental garden, public wi-fi, downtown’s first dog park and the 11-station fitness circuit.

Ascend Amphitheater takes environmental cues from the park itself though environmentally sustainable features including geothermal and solar technologies. It also has a 400,000 gallon rain harvesting tank. The project is expected to receive LEED Gold certification.

While the amphitheater is remarkably green and embedded with advanced technologies, just as impressive is how the space creates a feeling of musical intimacy –– not an easy feat for a venue that holds up to 6,800 guests.

“Live Nation [the venue’s operator] came out here and did a sight-line study to get the grades just right. There isn’t a bad seat in the house,” said Kristen Heggie, Skanska project manager. The amphitheater’s design gives guests views of the cityscape and green space surrounding the facility, including the Cumberland River running adjacent to the amphitheater.

“Its downtown and urban setting make the amphitheater special. The sun sets in the background of the city as each show starts,” Heggie said.

When strummed together, the green technologies, advanced audio and visual components and thoughtful design make the Ascend Amphitheater something truly special. It creates a space that matters and has all the right components to become a world-famous venue, further cementing Nashville’s place on the music map.

Church agrees. The country singer recently told The Tennessean, “I like venues that have … history, and I think the great thing they’re doing with Ascend, this city has this creative juice anyway . . . When you add that with the lineup they’ve got in year one, they’re really laying some musical history on there, too. And I think four, five, six years from now, it becomes one of those places … that are just special places to play. I think they are off to a great start.”

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2 Responses

  1. Talk about building what matters! I’m a fifth generation Nashvillian and am proud to see our company hit a grand slam with such an important icon in our city!
    What a great job by an awesome team!

  2. Congratulations to the Ascend Amphitheater project team! This world class entertainment facility is not only a wonderful asset to the Nashville community but a signature project in our Sports & Entertainment portfolio. It has the right mix of technology and sustainable features to become the new benchmark for similar facilities around the world. You all should be very proud of this accomplishment. Thank you for sharing this fantastic news!

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