New deal to boost downtown Missoula music scene

Posted at 7:02 AM, Jul 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-24 09:02:53-04

MISSOULA – A plan is on the table to give Missoula’s downtown music scene a boost.Missoula Redevelopment Agency director Ellen Buchanan says Mountain Baseball and the city of Missoula renegotiated the lease for Ogren Park, tying in local production company Logjam Presents.The agreement will give concert and comedy show booking over to Logjam, the same group that operates Kettlehouse Amphitheater, The Top Hat, and the Wilma Theater.They plan to utilize the offseason and add an additional six-to-eight concerts per year. They also want to add about 2,000 seats to the stadium, according to Buchanan.She says the current lease payment is not sustainable for Mountain Baseball and this new agreement will shift some of the cost onto Logjam. Increased revenue will also be used to beef up a maintenance plan specifically for the stadium.“This is going to give a vehicle to create that maintenance fund so that when there’s a major expenditure out there, it doesn’t hit the general fund,” she said.The city hopes more entertainment traffic through the venue will increase tourism through the area even as the Osprey baseball team’s games will have scheduling priority.“They’re in the baseball business, they’re really not in the concert business and the real money is from concerts and those larger events that take place there,” Buchanan said.The plan was hashed out earlier this summer and is now up for consideration with the Missoula City Council set to vote on the plan in August. Logjam Presents will begin booking for the 2019 concert season if the deal is approved.