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Amphitheater project presented at OKC Planning Commission

Rendering of potential amphitheater project coming near Sara Road and 15th Street. (Photo provided)

By Jacob Sturm

As part of the Oklahoma City Planning Commission meeting Jan. 11, members of NotesLive
presented their plan to build an Amphitheater just east of the John Kilpatrick Turnpike near
Sara and 15th street.

As part of the presentation, planning commission officials were told of noise monitoring
stations that will make sure the volume of music is not exceeding what parameters an
acoustician and NotesLive identified in consultations.

An issue NotesLive discussed in the initial phase of the presentation is the tree placement in the
parking lot on islands. NotesLive appealed the problem to Planning Commission members,
claiming the space lost in the parking lot to meet the OKC requirement would add about seven
acres of space to the development.

That green space would remain, but be reallocated to other areas while maintaining the parking

Bob Mudd, Vice President of NotesLive, mentioned the facility is expected to generate $2.6
Billion in economic impact in the first 10 years of operation.

Mudd said a complete traffic analysis was completed before NotesLive committed to the

“We will not go into a site that can’t be addressed safely and cannot be drained in 40 minutes
or less,” Mudd said. “And that was our criteria for determining whether or not this was a
suitable site.”

The widening of 15th street was incorporated in the presentation.

Mudd addressed the noise concerns, saying the facility has operational and contractual ability
to dampen sound. That is also influenced by speaker sound systems that don’t produce the
energy that they used to. Speakers will also not be hung more than 40 feet in the air.

There is also electroacoustic mitigation through vertical array speakers (shaped like a C) that
point down into the bowl and fire pits. Delay clusters will also be implemented, requiring artists
to play through delay clusters serving the suites in the back of the room and reducing the
footprint outside of the venue.

Architectural infrastructure will also help protect the neighborhoods surrounding the
development from the noise.

Public comments on the discussion included frustrations with the development coming close to
the residential areas (referencing traffic, noise, parking, security and road surface damage risk).
Planning Commission members stated multiple concerns with the project, starting with making
sure people were aware of the development and were informed. There is also a concern for
enforcement for the city of Oklahoma City.

The project was discussed by Planning Commission members and eventually recommended for
approval to the OKC City Council.

1 Comment

  1. Rachel Earls on February 19, 2024 at 8:56 am

    Thank you for your article. Unfortunately even if the Amphitheater is under the allowed decibels (which they have already asked permission to go over that amount), the sound/noise is still intrusive to surrounding residents. Some complaints from similar outdoor amphitheaters say they have been bothered by noise from 5-15 miles away. The surrounding established neighborhoods to the Sunset Amphitheater are 1,500 ft away, 2,000 ft away and Mustang School is 1,250 ft away! Imagine how intrusive the noise will be the entire time a concert is happening until 10:30-11pm at night. Sleep disruption and health effects are just a couple of the major concerns we have. Please interview residents near the Zoo Amphitheater to see how intolerable the outdoor concerts can be. And the Sunset Amphitheater would be almost twice the size of the Zoo Amphitheater!
    Thank you

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