McKinney leaders, residents and community stakeholders shared feedback in support and in opposition of the Sunset Amphitheater project at an April 16 meeting.

The meeting included a presentation from city staff and a representative of the project prior to council members considering approval of a development agreement for the project.

How we got here

The Sunset Amphitheater, a $220 million open-air amphitheater with a 20,000-person capacity, was announced March 12.

The venue will be located at the northeast corner of US 75 and SH 121, and is expected to open in 2026, according to city documents. The venue is expected to host a minimum of 45 shows per year and will also host community events, such as graduations.

McKinney City Council members approved a development agreement for the project in a 6-1 vote, with council member Justin Beller voting against, at the meeting. The agreement includes incentives for the project developers from the city, including a grant for parking infrastructure, sales and property tax reimbursements, and more. The incentives are valued at just over $50 million, according to a presentation at the meeting.

The McKinney Economic Development Corp. also owns the 46-acre site where the project is expected to be developed, which is valued at $35 million. The organization is expected to convey the land to the developer as part of the agreement, according to city documents.

The impact

Multiple studies have been done of the site to date, said Bob Mudd, president and chief operating officer for Notes Live, including evaluations of traffic capacity and the impact of sound to the nearby buildings and residences.

The facility is positioned near the Sheraton McKinney Hotel, with other neighbors including the Collin College Higher Education Center, Emerson Automation Solutions Pressure Management headquarters, McKinney Fire State No. 6, an assisted living community and various residential communities.

Various noise mitigation strategies have been planned for the project, Mudd said, including:
  • Physical mitigation using buildings and walls
  • Electroacoustic mitigation using specific speaker systems and placement strategies
  • Operational mitigation through noise detection and monitoring systems
Using the noise monitoring systems, if any performance exceeded allowed noise levels, the event production team would be responsible for reducing noise levels to allowed amounts, according to the presentation.

Various off-site traffic improvements are planned in relation to the project, Mudd said, including the addition of turn lanes and signal timing changes. Mudd said the site was selected in part because of the existing adjacent thoroughfares, US 75 and SH 121, which will improve ingress and egress from the site.

Mudd said safety considerations planned for the site include:
  • An on-site police substation
  • A hired security team for inside the venue and in parking lots
  • An advanced life support unit inside during events
The venue will also not allow tailgating for safety reasons, Mudd said.

“We want to develop a project that is in a way that positions the Sunset [Amphitheater] as a good neighbor,” Mudd said.

What they’re saying

Some McKinney residents who spoke at the meeting expressed concerns about the project regarding noise impacts and the location of the project.

“I feel that this event ... venue is going to be great for McKinney, but it’s not great [for] the area where you want to put it,” McKinney resident Carol Perry said, noting the proximity of the project to residential units.

McKinney Flour Mill owner James Brenahan expressed support for the project, noting the potential for increased traffic for existing businesses in the city.

“This amphitheater would bring in a large amount of business and potential for hotel rooms that need to be booked,” he said. “I’m in favor of, just in general, McKinney becoming a place where people can come ... for entertainment.”

The project is located in City Council District 1, represented by Beller, the only council member who voted against the item. He expressed concerns about noise impacts from the facility at an April 16 special meeting.

“It is going to be a great amenity for our area, and while I’m appreciative of the efforts by city staff and the Vibes team to add additional noise mitigation, I ultimately feel like the overall deal came at too high of cost in taxpayer money and negative impact on a number of citizens in the area,” Beller said in an email.

McKinney Mayor George Fuller expressed support for the project, noting appreciation for the partnership between the development team and the city. Council member Geré Feltus said, while the project may bring increased traffic at times, she expects the project to have a positive impact on the community.

“We would not be making this decision if we really felt that this was going to be a huge issue [or] a negative impact on our community,” Feltus said. “We are moving forward because we know that it will be a positive impact.”

Learn more

For more information on the project, visit