Amphitheater goes corporate with name

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 6, 2004

Pelham’s Oak Mountain Amphitheater has changed its name, following the lead of various other stadiums, arenas and ampitheaters across the nation that replaced original names with corporate sponsors.

The Oak Mountain Ampitheater is now called The Verizon Wireless Music Center in Birmingham, announced during a press conference last week.

The amphitheater opened June 28, 1986.

Since then, more than 2.5 million fans have passed through the amphitheater’s gates to see an array of artists like Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart, James Taylor, Bon Jovi, Tim McGraw, Kenney Chesney, the Dixie Chicks, Alabama, the Blue Man Group, REM, Matchbox 20, Tom Petty, Creed, John Mayer and Widespread Panic.

The venue has hosted more than 450 concerts since opening.

Clean Channel Entertainment announced a name change for the amphitheater during a press conference last week.

&uot;We’re thrilled to be exclusive wireless sponsor of Birmingham’s premiere entertainment venue,&uot; said Jim McGean, president of the Georgia/Alabama region of Verizon Wireless. &uot;It’s part of our ongoing strategy to build awareness of the Verizon Wireless brand and to let the people of Birmingham know that our company is dedicated to delivering the absolute best wireless service, just as the music center will deliver the best in entertainment.&uot;

Along with the name change, The Verizon Wireless Music Center in Birmingham will feature other improvements including two new 20-by-15-foot video screens located on either side of the main stage; 10 new VIP boxes; and a new box office located by the Crown Royal VIP Club.

Clear Channel also announced the concert schedule for this summer.

May 20 – Alan Jackson with Special Guest Martina McBride

June 5 – Jessica Simpson

June 6 – Aerosmith with Special Guest Cheap Trick

June 16 – Tim McGraw

July 9 – Michael W. Smith & MercyMe with David Crowder Band

Aug. 3 – Kiss and Poison

Aug. 5 – Toby Keith

Aug. 13 – Norah Jones

Aug. 28 – John Mayer with Maroon 5 and DJ Logic

Also appearing will be Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, Keller Williams and Yonder Mountain String Band

Tickets for the Jessica Simpson concert go on sale Saturday, May 8 at 10 a.m