The Amp Ballantyne will help reshape the entertainment landscape in Charlotte

By Cameron Lee

May 1, 2023

The community of Ballantyne has long been known as an area of Charlotte focused mostly on work and commerce. The roughly 2,000 acres of land surrounded by suburban towns like Pineville, Matthews, Fort Mill, Indian Land, and Weddington, was first developed as a Corporate Park in 1992 by Johnny Harris and his brother-in-law Howard C. “Smoky” Bissell. Named after Bissell’s colorful great aunt, Barbara Ballantyne, but originally owned by the Harris family, the corporate park is home to a multitude of corporations including Wells Fargo, MetLife, Brighthouse Financial and Credit Karma. 

Ballantyne in 1994. Photo: ‘The First 10 years of Ballantyne Corporate Park 1996-2006,’ A Biography of Place by Susanne B. Deitzel

When Smoky Bissell (The Bissell Companies) sold Ballantyne Corporate Park and its 535 acres of land to real estate investment and management firm, Northwood Investors, in 2017, the focus started to shift. The goal became turning Ballantyne into a more modern and lively place. When Ballantyne Reimagined was approved for rezoning by City Council in June 2020, it made way for a six-acre Stream Park, a 3500-capacity amphitheater (The Amp Ballantyne), and a 90,000-square-foot dining and retail district (The Bowl). The plan also includes a greenway and more residential, office retail, and restaurant spaces.

Rendering of The Amp Ballantyne music venue scheduled to open late this summer. Photo: Courtesy of Northwood Office

With the announcement of The Amp Ballantyne’s first show (All Time Low and Gym Class Heroes on September 26), we reached out to Hailey Rorie, director of community relations at Northwood Office in Ballantyne, to get more info about the state-of-the-art amphitheater expected to open late this summer. Rorie has lived in Charlotte since 2007 and was previously with The Bissell Companies, which makes up about 90% of the Northwood Office, a division of Northwood Investors, that now manages the 535-acre Ballantyne property. 

When will The Amp Ballantyne officially open? 

Rorie said the amphitheater will open late August or early September and they’ve already planned four to six large-scale concerts and community events for 2023 through their partnerships with organizations such as Blumenthal Performing Arts and Charlotte is Creative. Blumenthal Performing Arts previously worked with the Ballantyne project for their Immersive Van Gogh Hot Air Balloon and Charlotte International Arts Festival.


The Amp Ballantyne will incorporate a tiered lawn layout with an area near the front of the stage that will be flexible for seating options. 

“We didn’t want to come out with any permanent seating, but we designed it in a way where you could bring in, you know, audience style seating, if and when needed,” said Rorie. 

The venue will, of course, feature new restroom facilities, a VIP section, and a dedicated merch station. 

Site map for The Amp Ballantyne. Photo: Courtesy of Northwood Office


The amphitheater will have dedicated food truck parking areas and a concessions building. They aim to keep food and beverage costs far more reasonable than your typical stadium or arena concert, and will give their restaurant partners the first right of refusal since “The Bowl” will not open until early 2024. They’re not planning on doing any exclusive concessions partnerships, which will allow the amphitheater to explore more local food and beverage options. 

Rendering of the concessions area at The Amp Ballantyne scheduled to open late this summer. Photo: Courtesy of Northwood Office

Stage and Sound 

The architect of the massive stage at The Amp Ballantyne is Sasaki, a Boston-based architecture company. Rorie said they were aiming to build something that felt very natural with a community park aesthetic for the many different types of events the amphitheater will host. They’ll install a large “state-of-the-art sound system and lighting package” that will most likely be run in-house. The venue will also include a dedicated green room. 

The stage at The Amp Ballantyne designed by Sasaki, a Boston-based architecture company.

Parking and Traffic 

The Amp Ballantyne will offer free parking on site with open surface lots on both sides of the venue. There’s also parking decks across the street from the amphitheater, and they’ll have areas dedicated for ride-sharing services. 

New roads and intersections have been under construction in Ballantyne including the ​Ballantyne Commons Parkway bridge widening and direct connector to Johnston Road from the I-485 Express Lanes. There are also roads being constructed (Upper Avenue and Lower Avenue) to connect to North Community House Road. Ballantyne is also a part of the city’s 2030 Transit Corridor System Plan that will bring three light rail stops in the future. 

Map of Phase 1 of Ballantyne Reimagined. Courtesy of Northwood Office

“We have gone through a very extensive traffic study, and that was part of the whole rezoning process. We have identified and improved 25 intersections within the 2000 acres of Ballantyne…we want to make sure that as we are bringing more mix of uses and more residents on site…we’re doing everything we can to mitigate that (traffic).” 

What type of music and vibe can we expect at The Amp Ballantyne? 

Starting out, Rorie said we can expect a mix of national and regional rock, pop-punk, country, folk, and bluegrass, but they want to expand the programming as they move forward. 

“We’re really aiming for a good variety…making sure that we’re appealing to everyone. It’s going to be more of an intimate vibe, kind of a romantic feel, compared to a big concert venue like a PNC,” she said. 

Rendering of a market event at The Amp Ballantyne. Photo: Courtesy of Northwood Office

They do have their own dedicated talent buyer, who has worked with them on booking entertainment at some of their retail properties in Austin, Texas. 


While The Amp Ballantyne’s ticketing partner has not yet been finalized and announced, you can rest assured that Ticketmaster will not be involved. While they remain open to partnering with entertainment conglomerates like Live Nation, Rorie said they are adamant about having control over fees through their ticketing partner. 

“We’re trying to keep the shows accessible to everyone, we want to make sure that it’s a good experience and definitely want to be able to control the ticket prices and make sure that we’re really appealing to everyone,” Rorie said.

Rendering of the six-acre Stream Park connecting to The Bowl, scheduled to open this summer. Photo: Courtesy of Northwood Office

How will this change and shape the future of Ballantyne? 

An expansive mix-used community in an area that has long been void of music, entertainment and culture will now feature walkable parks, restaurants, retail, outdoor concerts, and more for the many neighborhoods in-and-around South Charlotte. Residents in the area will no longer need to venture north for all the fun. 

“Ballantyne historically has been known as just a place to work, a corporate park, and we’re changing that…Northwood is taking that to the next level bringing residential on site, taking that nine-to-five community to more of an 18-hour to 24-hour community. And The Amp is one big piece of that,” said Rorie.  

The Amp Ballantyne is scheduled to open in late August or early September. Learn more about the Ballantyne Reimagined project. 


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