The Cricket Wireless Amphitheater in Bonner Springs, Kansas, formally known as the Sandstone Center for the Performing Arts and prior to that, the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, Sandstone Amphitheater and the Capitol Federal Park at Sandstone, is one of the largest open-air amphitheaters in America.
Originally opened in 1984, Cricket Wireless Amphitheater was designed by Bird Engineering, most locals still refer to the venue with an abbreviation of it’s original name, Sandstone. Currently the amphitheater is owned by Wyandotte County and Kansas City government and naming rights are owned by Cricket Wireless.
Throughout it’s lifetime Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre has hosted thousands of acts from rock legends Kiss, Def Leppard, Motley Crue and Alice Cooper to country heroes Rascal Flatts, Tim McGraw and Brad Paisley.
The venue features lawn seating and 6700 reserved seats around and inside the amphitheatre but plans are underway to remove the majority of the reserved seats closest to the stage and make a standing general admission area with a hope of letting more fans get closer to the stage and at the same time reducing security costs. Recently the VIP club has also been upgraded and new sounds and video systems have been installed.
Through the years the stage has fought several limitations, a 37-foot roof is well below the norm which often proves challenging to book shows.
Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre is also making a move towards becoming more environmentally friendly, offering free parking to alternative fuel visitors or people who car pool with more than 4 people in hte car. The venue is also applying for LEED certification with the use of alternative energy sources such as solar panels and wind turbines. The most interesting green initiative is certainly the new compost site which should allow the owners of bio-fueled vehicles to collect used cooking oil to fuel their cars.