Washington State University Tri-Cities

Campus Buildings & Facilities

outdoor stage

Columbia Center Rotary Club Stage

For reservation information:

Michele Hitzroth

April 3, 2014

River Front Concerts to bring performances to WSU Tri-Cities

Music festivals, culinary events and cultural performances are among the possibilities on campus now that Washington State University Tri-Cities has signed a contract with River Front Concerts LLC of Kennewick.

This full-service event and concert management company, run by Monty Mills and Marco Solferino, will be finding the entertainers, coordinating the logistics, selling tickets and promoting the events to be held on the WSU Tri-Cities campus in Richland.

“We have a beautiful outdoor stage, built by a partnership of the Columbia Center Rotary Foundation, the City of Richland, and the Associated Students of WSU Tri-Cities,” said Lori Selby, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration. “We are excited about what kinds of performances will be on our stage — with the Columbia River as a backdrop — and on other campus locations.”

The contract outlines a partnership between WSU Tri-Cities and River Front Concerts, where the university doesn’t pay for the event management services. Instead, the business handles all the costs and keeps — and potentially shares — the revenue from ticket sales.

“We’re thrilled to again bring great music to the Tri-Cities,” Solferino said. “Music is good for the soul and brings people of all ages together.”

Events also may be held at inside venues at WSU Tri-Cities. Groups interested in putting on a festival or performance at the campus should contact River Front Concerts at info@riverfrontconcerts.com or online at riverfrontconcerts.com.

Stage construction and equipment will cost about $140,000, which is being provided by:

  • Columbia Center Rotary Club, $80,000
  • City of Richland, $40,000 from the Hotel/Motel Lodging Tax Fund
  • Students of WSU Tri-Cities, $20,000 from the Service & Activities Facilities Fees

“The Columbia Center Rotary was pleased to issue a 2-to-1 community challenge grant, which was then matched by funds from students and the City of Richland," said Michael Rader, chair of the Columbia Center Rotary Charity Board.  “This contribution to WSU Tri-Cities is the largest single grant the Rotary club has ever given. The gift comes from our Columbia Center Rotary Charity, which is governed independently from the Rotary Club and is managed by a board directors comprised of Columbia Center Rotary Past Presidents.”
From the City of Richland’s perspective, the stage will allow WSU Tri-Cities to hold more community events and activities, enhancing student recruitment and regional economic development. This eventually will generate additional hotel room nights in Richland and will help with the oversaturation of Howard Amon Park’s Ellipsoid (“fingernail”) stage between May and September. The City Council approved the $40,000 investment in May on the recommendation of the city’s Lodging Tax Advisory Committee.
The 10 a.m. groundbreaking ceremony is open to the public. From George Washington Way, event attendees should turn right at the University Drive stoplight, turn right on Crimson Way, then turn left into the Consolidated Information Center, 2770 Crimson Way. Follow the signs to walk straight through the CIC building, then outside to the stage site.
Speakers at the event include WSU Tri-Cities Chancellor Vicky L. Carwein; Mayor John Fox of the City of Richland; Michael Rader, Columbia Center Rotary Charity Board chair; Holly Wilson, Columbia Center Rotary Club president; and Amber Eubanks, Associated Students of WSU Tri-Cities president.
The process of renting the Columbia Center Rotary Stage at WSU Tri-Cities will be announced after the construction is complete, but the expectation is that it will be available for events in summer 2012. Information will be posted at www.tricity.wsu.edu/stage or call the Office of Advancement and Regional Development at 509-372-7264.

The Rotary Club of Columbia Center is one of the leading clubs in Rotary District 5080, which has 65 clubs covering the eastern portions of the State of Washington, the northern part of Idaho, and portions of the Province of British Columbia, Canada. Columbia Center Rotary is the only club in District 5080 that operates its own not-for-profit business, from which revenue generated provides financial contributions to improve the lives in the Columbia Basin and throughout the world. Columbia Center Rotary's Board of Directors include: Holly Wilson, President; Don Hart, Past President; Tim Fredrickson, President Elect; Ron Hue, Treasurer; Janine Swailes, Secretary; and board members Cathryn Tames, Bruce Schwan, Randy Way, Gail Middleton, Cris Gamache, and Bob Quay. The Columbia Center Rotary Charity board members include: Mike Rader, Sondra Rader, Tom Halazon, Mike Tuohy, Janelle Harvey, Christy Watts, Ken Hohenberg, Allen Brecke, and Les Litzenberger.

View photos from the groundbreaking to the ribbon cutting

Stage Facts

  • Floor plan (PDF)
  • Contractor: Winkler Construction, Spokane
  • Consultant/Architect: ALSC, Spokane
  • Stage floor area: approximately 40 x 30 feet, or about 1,200 square feet
  • Overall height: approximately 14 feet
  • Materials: The floor is concrete, the support columns are steel, the roof framing is made of glue-laminated wood beams and the roof deck is steel
  • Usage: The stage is suitable for informal performances and for certain special events, including the WSU Tri-Cities commencement ceremony.
  • Noteworthy: WSU Pullman students in an Architect and Engineering class recommended the site for the stage as part of a semester project. The stage is situated so the long side faces an open grassy area and can be used for large events, while the short side faces an existing patio and can be used for small events. Either way, the Columbia River is in the background and the stage is flanked by existing outdoor art installations.
2710 Crimson Way, Washington State University Tri-Cities, Richland WA 99354-1671, 509-372-7270, Contact Us