The Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) is about to get a major facelift. On Tuesday, October 29, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that construction had begun on a $9.5 million upgrade project at the Saratoga Springs venue. The list of improvements will include two completely new concessions and restroom facilities; a rooftop terrace to view concerts; and a new, year-round, indoor events space for more entertainment, educational programming and community engagement activities.
The ambitious project is being funded with $8 million from SPAC and Live Nation (SPAC’s summer partner for booking popular acts), plus up to an additional $1.5 million in grants from Empire State Development and State Parks, awarded by Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Council initiative. “For decades, the Saratoga Spa State Park has attracted visitors from across the state and around the world,” said Governor Cuomo. “This project is another major step forward in the renewal of this great park and will provide needed renovations to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center that will further cement it as a critical economic and cultural driver in the Capital Region.”
Replacing the old tent structures in the main plaza, the two new facilities will offer SPAC patrons a completely modern concessions and restrooms area. One of the new buildings will be two stories high and feature, in addition to the aforementioned amenities, a climate-controlled events space and an atrium recounting the history of SPAC. Other upgrades in the construction package will include a new, open-air pavilion in the center of the main plaza and updated pedestrian walkways from the plaza to the amphitheater lawn.
“Aside from being an economic powerhouse in the region—with an estimated $100 million in annual economic impact—SPAC is a cultural powerhouse as well, bringing best-in-class artists and companies from across all genres,” says SPAC’s President and CEO Elizabeth Sobol. “With these series of infrastructure upgrades thanks to Governor Cuomo and Live Nation, SPAC is positioned to be a vibrant international cultural destination for years to come.”
The upgrades are expected to be completed and open before the beginning of SPAC’s 2020 summer season.