Sparks amphitheater to open in June at former Bourbon Square site

The Nugget Event Center is expected to open this June.

The Nugget Event Center is expected to open this June.

SPARKS, Nev. — Marnell Gaming, owner of the Nugget Casino Resort, this week announced final plans to build an amphitheater at the former Bourbon Square site — with Toby Keith being the first concert booked. According to a Jan. 29 news release on behalf of Marnell Gaming, construction on the "Nugget Event Center" — which will seat more than 8,500 people — is expected to wrap in June. The Sparks Planning Commission OK'd the project on Jan. 3. In November, Marnell Gaming began razing the exterior of the vacant Bourbon Square building, located across from the Nugget Casino Resort, to make way for the project. “This new amphitheater is another step in Marnell Gaming's commitment to reinvest not only in the Nugget, but downtown Sparks,” Anthony Marnell III, CEO of Marnell Gaming, said in a statement. “It will give the Nugget the ability to bring even more top name entertainment to Sparks for locals and visitors to enjoy.” According to a recent report in the Sparks Tribune, the Las Vegas-based hospitality company also owns a 5,000-seat amphitheater in Laughlin, which has done very well since its debut in 2013. In that story, Nugget Casino Resort General Manager Mark Sterbens said that amphitheater has been a significant economic generator for the community, also causing Marnell's cash flow to increase 30 percent to 40 percent. According to the Jan. 29 release, country superstar Toby Keith will perform as the first act in the new center on June 15. Hank Williams, Jr. is scheduled to perform Aug. 3, followed by Lady Antebellum on Aug. 17. Tickets for the acts — as well as future concerts — will be available on the Nugget's website, pending final confirmation. According to Jan. 25 story in the Reno Gazette Journal, Marnell Gaming is spending roughly $6.2 million to erect the outdoor event center.


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