The City of Tuscaloosa has renamed its riverfront amphitheater in honor of Mercedes Benz, whose impact on the city and region cannot be overstated.

Tuscaloosa shocked the world in 1993 when the "rural hamlet" in Alabama beat out heavyweight competitors and incentivized the German automaker to build its US plant right here.

Since the Mercedes Benz U.S. International plant opened in 1997, it has employed tens of thousands of people directly, drawn other suppliers to build local plants and employ their own workforces, and pumped billions of dollars into growing its footprint and paying workers.

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On Tuesday night, city officials announced during a Foreigner concert at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater that it will now be known as the Mercedes-Benz Amphitheater.

JR Moore | Townsquare Media
JR Moore | Townsquare Media

The Amphitheater concept was first included in a Master Plan the city of Tuscaloosa developed for its riverfront in 2003, but ground wasn't broken until 2009, and the new venue finally opened in April 2011.

It has hosted more than 100 major concerts including country, rock and soul music superstars. Moreover, the Amp has also been home to many smaller community events, like high school graduations, a celebration for Deontay Wilder's heavyweight championship win, and many employee appreciation events for one of its biggest corporate sponsors - Mercedes-Benz.

The new Mercedes Benz Amphitheater will be a major component of a riverfront district the city is heavily investing in transforming, including the also-recently-renamed Parker-Haun Park and the Saban Center for STEAM learning, which is still being planned.

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