Mayoral candidates weigh in on necessity of Youngstown amphitheater

The ampitheater is expected to be finished late next year

The amphitheater will be where Wean United once stood, near the Market Street bridge

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The idea of creating an amphitheater on the spot where Wean United once stood is in the process of becoming a reality.

The amphitheater plans were presented to city council last October. The plans showed a covered stage — the back of which would face the Mahoning River — on land directly north of the Market Street Bridge.

A park-like setting is planned to connect the amphitheater with the Covelli Centre.

There will be both paved and lawn seating — along with restrooms and a concession stand.

The amphitheater will be where Wean United once stood, near the Market Street bridge


Jamael Tito Brown is the Democratic nominee for Youngstown Mayor. During the primary, he questioned how the amphitheater’s $9 to $10 million cost was being funded.

“I would like to see more private funding for this amphitheater, and now we’re to a point…that we are looking for other funding for this as well,” he said.

Sean McKinney — an independent candidate for mayor — was Youngstown’s Buildings and Grounds commissioner when the amphitheater project was being put together.

“As I’ve been on the campaign trail, all I’ve heard from our citizens, as well as business owners, and even some pastors that this gives quality of life for the city of Youngstown and for the downtown area,” he said.

Janet Tarpley is also running as an independent who — as the sixth ward councilwoman — was among the first people to broach the idea of an amphitheater.

“We went out and we actually got some bids on it from different cities, but at that time it was between three and six million dollars,” she said. “It was a smaller type of a structure that we were looking at.”

The amphitheater will likely not be finished until late next year — at the earliest — no matter who’s the next mayor.

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