Since their storied beginnings as places where Ancient Greeks enjoyed theater and the Romans cheered gladiators in combat, amphitheaters have come a long way with technological advancements. Over 100 of these open-air venues are currently operating throughout the United States, creating distinctive gathering places for their communities. One of the challenges amphitheaters face is balancing form with function, particularly when it comes to landscaping their shaded areas. Just ask The AMP in Carrollton, Georgia.
Keeping their downtown area vital is a top priority for the charming Southern town of 25,000 close to the Georgia-Alabama border. When local officials realized an old warehouse located in the heart of the city could not be renovated, they elected to transform the space into an amphitheater to further enhance cultural options. The result is The AMP at Adamson Square.
The venue seats up to 1,000 people comfortably, providing open-air shelter from the elements. Tens of thousands of people have visited The AMP since it first opened on May 1, 2012. City planners recognized that the roster of free musical performances, family movie nights and arts events would draw overflow crowds to the area. However they did not want to sacrifice the aesthetic appeal of the space with rows of concrete or metal seating. Instead the City of Carrollton opted to install tiered rows of synthetic turf from Synthetic Turf International that made the space appear more natural and green without the need for sunlight or intensive maintenance.
“There is no way regular grass could have been grown in that covered space,” explains Phoebe Ericson, Director of Carrollton Main Street, the downtown economic development organization responsible for The AMP and other local enterprises. “Now it always looks green and beautiful, with flowers adding additional color along the sidelines, and the community loves it.”
“Synthetic turf is being used in more spaces like amphitheaters and public parks where grass can’t grow or be easily maintained,” noted Bobby Baughn of Synthetic Turf International of Atlanta. “The AMP is also able to conserve water and reduce their maintenance needs through this landscape solution.”
In 2013, The Amp has added more events to its roster and expects to draw even more people in from neighboring communities. No matter how big the crowds are, their durable synthetic turf landscape will keep the venue as green and inviting as possible.
Photo credit: Cliff Williams at the Times-Georgian
Note: We adapted this content from an article Synthetic Turf International recently wrote for Parks and Rec Business Magazine on beautifying amphitheaters.