• New amphitheater draws thousands amid profitability concerns

    By: Carl Willis



    It wasn't just concert-goers watching a festival at the brand new Wolf Creek Amphitheater.

    Critics of the state of the art facility in south Fulton County also had their eyes on the venue's first big shows- Funk Fest 2012.

    Those critics question if the amphitheater will ever prove to be profitable for the county.

    So far, taxpayers have shelled out $7 million to build and maintain the facility.

    A sold-out crowd watched acts including R&B group New Edition perform Friday night.

    Organizers said 5,362 tickets were sold.

    Saturday night, they sold another 3,159 tickets for acts including R&B artists Erykah Badu and Raheem DeVaughn.

    "We're going to break even with the facility and it was a win win situation," said the venue's entertainment manager Sandy Ward.

    Ward's job is to book a nearly wide open schedule, one that critics believe is a sign that the venue is not viable.

    State Rep. Lynne Riley is among those questioning the facility's future.



    "There's a lot of concern that there isn't enough demand for concerts in that area to be able to sustain a profitable enterprise," she said in a phone interview.

    Supporter and Fulton County Commissioner William Edwards defends the facility.

    "People are using words like 'struggling' I don't understand where they're coming from," he said.

    Edwards compared the amphitheater to county facilities including libraries.

    "We don't make money in these types of deals," he said. "I can't tell you a facility that Fulton County has that makes money."

    Edwards said it's not about profit but quality of life.

    Some concert goers said they found issues with traffic, food selection and atmosphere.

    Those with the amphitheater said those issues were all works in progress.


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